How to Count Family

Rydal Mount - home of the poet William WordsworthPhoto by Neil Parley CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0). One summer, while vacationing in New Brunswick, Canada, I took a ferry from the mainland to Deer Island, a small island in the Bay of Fundy. While searching for a picnic spot, I passed a bookshop advertising old books … Continue reading How to Count Family

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