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
Shadows. Moonlit Night. Isaac Levitan. Original Title: Тени. Лунная ночь. Date: c.1885 In The Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin writes about a “Sacred Tree.” He came upon it while traveling in the valley of the Rio Negro on his way to Bahía Blanca in Argentina in the company of an Englishman, a guide, and … Continue reading Between Hope and Fear
Plate 106 Black Vulture or Carrion Crow, John James Audubon. In Chapter 3 of The Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin describes his work identifying the carrion-feeding hawks of South America. He writes the following about two of them—Carranchas and Chimangos. These false eagles most rarely kill any living bird or animal; and their vulture-like, … Continue reading A Token for His Protection
Ophelia, John Everett Millais, 1852. I was eleven years old when my mother enrolled me in the Boy Scouts of America. There was a Troop at my elementary school, and eleven was the minimum age to become a Tenderfoot Scout, the beginning rank in the Scouts at the time I joined. I don’t recall asking … Continue reading The Readiness Is All
Crew at the capstan of the 'Parma', weighing anchor, 1932-33. In chapter 2 of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom gets a group of boys to perform a job that he was supposed to do. At the end of the chapter, he thinks about what he had learned. Tom said to himself that … Continue reading Are You Turning Play into Work?
Gridiron Victoria: Geelong Buccaneers. Photo by John Torcasio. Unsplash. In “Seven Pillars of Faith,” Rabbi Yitzchok Breiter, a devoted follower of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, writes the following: The foundation of all of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings is to know and understand that everything that happens to us, both spiritually and materially, including what we ourselves … Continue reading Football and Free Will
Portrait of Russian poet Konstantin Batyushkov, 1815, by Nikolai Utkin. Do you believe in ghosts, shades, spirits? Do you think you have a soul that will survive the death of your body; or is your body all there is? What evidence would you have? This morning, as every morning, in the gray light of early … Continue reading What Evidence Would You Have?