Divrei Yechezkail: Vayigash III
The Divrei Yechezkail was in the bathhouse in Kronitz, when a Sephardi man, who did not look as any Jew the holy Rebbe had ever seen, ran up to the Rebbe and kissed his hand.
“What are you doing?” asked the Rebbe.
“How else can I express the love I feel upon seeing such a holy man?” responded the unfamiliar Jew.
Now I understand why Jacob had to say Shema at the moment he saw Joseph. There are times when we are overwhelmed with love and need to find a way to express it. When Jacob’s heart was so filled with love for Joseph, he wanted to direct all that love towards God and elevate it even higher, so he said the Shema. That was Jacob “kissing God’s Hand!”