Category Archives: Family

Two Words and a Wedding

  Tonight I will officiate at my second wedding in a week. I like weddings, but I always struggle with what to say. At baptisms, the parents in the front pews listen even though they’re often tussling with older siblings of the one in white. At funerals, people listen intently. Their stare—both skeptical and desperate—says:…

To Make Something of Beauty

One of the simplest joys of life is to make something beautiful.  For me that joy is greater when that something has been run down or broken or left for useless. For the past three days I have been painting my daughter and son-in-law’s new apartment in New York. Actually, I have been working on…

Monastic Gin

I am sitting with my father, playing gin rummy, but I might as well be sitting in a monastery or any retreat house. I am here for a week. Our days are simple and highly ritualized. Breakfast is at 8:30. (Two eggs on an English muffin, daily, for him.) We may converse for a while…

Moving Maggy

Eight boxes. That’s how many they packed for their last move to a new apartment in Manhattan. Thirty boxes. That’s the number for the move three years later. On Saturday, Pam and I helped our daughter and son-in-law, Maggy and Andy, move into their new apartment in New York. After years of renting, they finally…

The Heartbreak of Truth

There is an old Jewish story about the young pupil who asks the respected rabbi a question about that well-known passage in Deuteronomy 6:6. “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart.” “Why is it this way?” the pupil asks. “Why are we told to put these words upon…