A thing or two about Ducks

You’ve probably heard some variation on the expression, “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it must be a duck.” Well, the truth is, it’s not so simple! There are many kinds of water fowl that look sort of like ducks, and are commonly mistaken for ducks, […]

Shabbat Shira~!

In this week’s Torah portion, we read the story of the Jewish people crossing the Red Sea, following the Exodus from Egypt.  After the splitting of the Sea and their miraculous rescue across on dry land, the people sang a beautiful song of thanks and praise to G-d, the Song of the Sea, when they reached the opposite […]

The many meanings of Tzippor~

In a recent blog post, I mentioned that the name of Zipporah, the wife of Moshe (Moses) is ‘Bird’, in Hebrew. There are often variations in the spelling of Hebrew words transliterated into English, and most often Tzippor (or Zippor) is translated as Bird.Rabbi Natan Slifkin is the author of Nature’s Song (2001), a remarkable book about the beautiful […]

“Melody is the quill of the soul…”

The late Chabad Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson is quoted as saying, “Melody is the quill of the soul.  Words may be an expression of your heart, but a melody expresses the contents of your soul. . . . “ (Source:  Prisms, Uplifting Views on Daily Life, 2014).  We made a visit to the renowned world […]

The Turtledove and the Columbarium

On a walk through the ruins of Ashkelon National Park this past spring, I was fortunate to spot this beautiful Turtledove below, foraging through the rocky landscape. It was very early May, and surely around the time of year about which King Solomon wrote in the Song of Songs: “12.The blossoms have appeared in the land, […]

Sometimes it isn’t about the birds . . .

Sometimes it isn’t birds that capture my attention on my walks. Sometimes it’s the reptiles, the amphibians, the fish, the plant life whose beauty just makes me stop in my tracks. Experiencing, and truly appreciating, the wonder of the natural world on a daily basis has become more and more essential to me in recent […]

The Soul Bird

Browsing the shelves of a book shop in Israel last summer, I came upon a little volume called צפור הנפש, written by Michal Snunit and illustrated by Na’ama Golomb. Published in Hebrew in 1985, it was later translated into over 20 languages, including in English (1999) as The Soul Bird. This children’s story/poem teaches that […]

“Don’t forget to sing!”

Tucked away in a little courtyard off HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem, is the Museum of Psalms. This tiny building houses a collection of massive paintings by Rav Moshe Tzvi HaLevi Berger – the Museum was established under the patronage of the former Rabbi of The Kotel, R. Yehuda Meir Getz. Inspired and encouraged by […]

Birds Matter

In 2013, the editors of Audubon Magazine posed the question, “Why do birds matter?”. One of my favorite responses was this: No other creature can transcend earth, evoke beauty, inspire dreams, and ground us in nature as does even the smallest bird. –Julie Sacco, Director, North Park Village Nature Center. I’ve been reading two fascinating […]