By Drew Jacob
There are little signs of respect. Habits that everyone knows. When you cross a river, you make this gesture for the spirit of the place. You look both upstream and downstream and make this gesture and then you cross the river.
Some people don’t do it. Maybe they acknowledge it in silence. Maybe they don’t believe in river gods. Whatever. They recognize the gesture anyway, as Jews recognize the sign of the cross and civilians know the military salute.
These gestures are used elsewhere. When entering or leaving a forest; when taking in a mountain view; at sunset or sunrise; when you first see the moon. On entering a city, or a sanctuary. Anywhere you cross from one place to the next you may see people show a little sign of respect. Like asking permission before they barge in.