Recently, I was working at my school office planning a day of classes and interviews when I was notified of an incoming call from New York. It was my cousin, Shion, a hospital chaplain and a fine rabbi.
"Have you heard the news?" he asked.
I thought his voice sounded pensive and without waiting for an answer he went on to say, "There has been a fire, your mother didn't make it and your father is in the hospital."