Violent Lessons

Children are not exposed to enough violence. Yes, I know the grim statistics, how a child who enters middle school has already witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other violent acts on TV. As he and his friends enter adolescence, they take up first-person shooter video games. In college, he becomes . . . . Continue Reading »

A Christmas Eve Carol

Mostly, I grew up a Jew among other Jews. So how had Jesus entered my imagination? How had he come to occupy its core? It took an effort of memory, but I reached back to the first time I had truly noticed him. It had happened on a Christmas Eve. Continue Reading »

Learning to Play

My piano tuner is well over eighty years old. Each time I call him, I fear I’ll learn that he has died. So far he is still with us, though at each visit a little more white-haired and frailer than before. I worry that he will hurt himself when he lies under the instrument or takes out the . . . . Continue Reading »

Did You Get to Jersey Much?

But if you looked at the map closely you would notice towns with names like Hohokus, and Buttzville, and Ong’s Hat, and clearly those were goof names, which made you suspect that there was actually no such thing as New Jersey, that New Jersey was an idea, an illusion, a conspiracy, a deft jest perpetrated by cartographers in their cups and now accepted as wholly real by all sorts of people. Continue Reading »