Inspiration from the desert: Continual encounters



January 28, 2016

Hillel’s Ezra Fellows are on retreat in Sedona, Arizona this week. Each day, the Fellows are writing divrei torah based on a given text, inspired by the desert.

Two Giant Fat People

and I have become
like two giant fat people living
in a tiny

keep bumping into
each other
and laughing
(Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz)

The poem invites us to consider how we respond to unavoidable situations. The author describes an intimate relationship with G-d where they continually encounter one another. What are we continually encountering in our life? How do we create an environment where these encounters continually bring joy?

The author is a model for finding happiness in situations that are uncomfortable but unavoidable, and helps us to recognize that happiness is available in every experience.

Joshua Gibbs is the engagement associate at UChicago Hillel. Melissa Kansky is the director of Jewish engagement at the Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at UVa.