Keep on Climbing

Jacob’s Ladder, by Jacques Stella, Date: 1650. In the section of the Pentateuch that will be read in synagogue this coming Sabbath [Genesis 28:10 - 32.3], the patriarch Jacob is traveling, on rather short notice, to spend time with his uncle, his mother's brother. His brother, Esau, is angry with Jacob. He wants to kill … Continue reading Keep on Climbing

With Darwin’s Eyes and Ears

"Odysseus in the Cave of Polyphemus" by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678). Charles Darwin is fascinating to read, from many viewpoints. There is, of course, the obvious one—the scientific one. He is a keen observer. We marvel at the meticulous details he records about botany, geology, marine biology, and zoology, for instance. It’s impossible, though, not to … Continue reading With Darwin’s Eyes and Ears

Lightning for a Pen

The Water Garden, by Childe Hassam, 1909. It is the rainy season in Beersheba, Israel, where I live. After the long, hot, dry summer, I relish now the time of rain. Jewish liturgy notes the change in the “Amidah,” the “Standing Prayer.” The summer words in the second blessing—“He causes the dew to descend”—change to … Continue reading Lightning for a Pen