Geography, Jewish or Otherwise

Days until departure: 9
I’m not sure if it’s a solely Jewish phenomenon, but many people, upon meeting each other for the first time, try to make a connection between themselves and the other person, in an n-degrees-of-separation game. I’ve been guilty of playing this little game on many an occasion. I was thinking, and trying to figure out why people do this. I think partly it’s to break the ice, and partly to make conversation. But we all know it’s not particularly effective at either task.
Maybe I’m seeing meaning where there is none (a crime I’ve been known to commit), but I think it’s because we, as human beings, are very social creatures. We want to be connected to other people, to be able to point out where we stand in this huge, terrifically tangled web of relationships. “Where do I fit into your life? Well, my family friends the Finkelsteins have a cousin who went to school with your brother. See, we’re connected.”

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