The Chaos Theory of Virtue
The Bella Wexner Memorial Lecture
It is an immense honour to deliver a lecture in memory of one of the great Jewish women of our time, the late Bella Wexner of blessed memory. Hers is an extraordinary story. She was a woman who started with nothing and built, together with her beloved husband Harry of blessed memory, one of the great businesses of the world. Having created such a success, she had no doubt why: so that she could be a blessing to other people, by her philanthropy, her generosity of spirit, and her sense of duty to God and to the Jewish people.
There was a great Jewish figure in Victorian Britain: Sir Moses Montefiore. Someone once asked him, “Sir Moses, what are you worth?” He named a figure. His questioner replied, “But surely you own more than that.” Sir Moses gave a beautiful reply: “You did not ask me how much I own. You asked me how much am I worth. The figure I gave you is how much I have given in tzedakah this year, because we are worth what we are willing to share with others.” The late Bella Wexner was in the most literal sense an eshet chayil, “a woman of worth”, because she was determined to share her blessings with others.
What strikes me most about her is the way she turned every source of grief and pain in her life into a blessing, into something positive and creative. Her sister Ida suffered from a lack of care when she was sick as a child, so Bella devoted herself to the care of sick children through the Wexner Institute for Paediatric Research at the Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, and the Ida Cabakoff Centre at Yad Sarah in Jerusalem. She honoured the memory of her brother Izzy, a dentist, by creating the Dr Izador Cabakoff Center of Dentistry at the Hebrew University Hadassah Dental School. She perpetuated the memory of her late parents by endowing the Wexner Kollel Elyon and Semicha Honors Program at Yeshiva University, so that Orthodox Judaism in America could have leadership of the highest calibre.
That is greatness. There is a law of physics — the second law of thermo-dynamics — that states the principle of entropy, that all systems lose energy over time. Bella Wexner defied entropy. In her long and sometimes difficult life, she never lost energy, because she turned everything she suffered into a sensitivity to the suffering of others.
Throughout it all, she remained an intensely private person who never sought the limelight and never wished for public honour or recognition. Rabbi Jochanan said, “Wherever you find the greatness of the Holy One, blessed be He, there you find His humility.” Bella Wexner greatness and humility went hand-in-hand.
As we remember her this evening, we turn to her daughter Susan and say: We know how much, even now, her absence must hurt. When the Prophet Elijah was about to leave this world, his disciple Elisha asked for just one thing by way of consolation: “Grant me a double portion of your spirit.” ִיהִי נָא פִּי שְׁנַיִם בְּרוּחֲךָ אֵלָי The Almighty has granted you, Susan, a double portion of your mother’s spirit. May you continue the journey she began. You will have done things of which she would be proud. May your mother’s spirit live on a new, and through you may her memory continue to be a blessing. יהי זכרה ברוך
* * *
The question I pose tonight, to which Bella Wexner’s life was so eloquent an answer, is: what can we do, you and I, to make a difference, to heal some of the fractures of the human condition, to reduce the dissonance between the world that is and the world that ought to be? It is just here that we find the greatest possible contrast between the secular world of the 21st century and the Jewish scale of values.
Humanity is confronted by vast, complex and intractable problems: the march of technology, the growing economic inequality within and between nations, the destruction of biodiversity and the despoliation of the environment; the spread of terror and the new global disorder. These are problems that arise out of multiple uncoordinated decisions that take place every moment of every day. There are 6 billion people on the face of the planet, and each of us is only one. We are no more than a grain of sand on the seashore, a wave in the ocean — dust on the surface of infinity.
When, however, we turn to the Jewish view of such matters, we find an entirely opposite presupposition. Here is Rambam on the subject (Hilchot Teshuvah 3:4):
אע”פ שתקיעת שופר בראש השנה גזירת הכתוב רמז יש בו כלומר עורו ישינים משנתכם ונרדמים הקיצו מתרדמתכם וחפשו במעשיכם וחזרו בתשובה וזכרו בוראכם, אלו השוכחים את האמת בהבלי הזמן ושוגים כל שנתם בהבל וריק אשר לא יועיל ולא יציל הביטו לנפשותיכם והטיבו דרכיכם ומעלליכם ויעזוב כל אחד מכם דרכו הרעה ומחשבתו אשר לא טובה, לפיכך צריך כל אדם שיראה עצמו כל השנה כולה כאילו חציו זכאי וחציו חייב, וכן כל העולם חציו זכאי וחציו חייב, חטא חטא אחד הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף חובה וגרם לו השחתה, עשה מצוה אחת הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף זכות וגרם לו ולהם תשועה והצלה שנאמר וצדיק יסוד עולם זה שצדק הכריע את כל העולם לזכות והצילו.
(רמב”ם הלכות תשובה ג:ד)
Maimonides begins with his famous analysis of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah as God’s alarm call to each of us. He continues with what seems to be a non sequitur: “Therefore everyone should see himself or herself throughout the year . . .” Though the shofar is a command at a specific time of the year, the truth of which it is a symbol and to which it is a summons applies at all times.
Then comes the momentous equation: “Therefore everyone should see himself throughout the year as if half virtuous, half guilty; and he should see the world as if it too were evenly poised between virtue and guilt. If he commits one sin, he will tilt the balance, both of his life and the world, toward guilt, thereby causing destruction. If he does one good deed, mitzvah, he will tilt the balance, both of his life and the world, toward merit, thereby bringing to himself and the world salvation and deliverance. That is the meaning of [the biblical phrase] ‘the righteous person is the foundation of the world’ (Prov. 10:25), namely that by an act of righteousness we influence the fate of, and save, the world.”
Our next act can change our life. Our next action can change the world. No higher statement has ever been made about the irreducible significance – and hence responsibility – of a single life, a single deed. We can make a difference. We can change the world. What sense can we give to this extraordinary affirmation?
* * *
A story I found very moving when I first heard it: In 1966 an eleven-year-old black boy moved with his parents and family to a white neighbourhood in Washington. Many years later he wrote an account of what happened next. Sitting with his two brothers and two sisters on the front step of the house, he waited to see how they would be greeted. They were not. Passers-by turned to look at them but no one gave them a smile or even a glance of recognition. All the fearful stories he had heard about how whites treated blacks seemed to be coming true. Years later, writing about those first days in their new home, he says, “I knew we were not welcome here. I knew we would not be liked here. I knew we would have no friends here. I knew we should not have moved here . . .”
As he was thinking those thoughts, a white woman coming home from work passed by on the other side of the road. She turned to the children and with a broad smile said, “Welcome!” Disappearing into the house, she emerged minutes later with a tray laden with drinks and cream-cheese and jelly sandwiches which she brought over to the children, making them feel at home. That moment – the young man later wrote – changed his life. It gave him a sense of belonging where there was none before. It made him realise, at a time when race relations in the United States were still fraught, that a black family could feel at home in a white area and that there could be relationships that were colour-blind. Over the years, he learned to admire much about the woman across the street, but it was that first spontaneous act of greeting that became, for him, a definitive memory. It broke down a wall of separation and turned strangers into friends.
The young man, Stephen Carter, is now a law professor at Yale, and he eventually wrote a book about what he learned that day. He called it Civility. The name of the woman, he tells us, was Sara Kestenbaum, and she died all too young. He adds that it was no coincidence that she was a religious Jew. “In the Jewish tradition,” he notes, such civility is called “hessed – the doing of acts of kindness – which is in turn derived from the understanding that human beings are made in the image of God.” Civility, he adds, “itself may be seen as part of chessed: it does indeed require kindnesses toward our fellow citizens, including the ones who are strangers, and even when it is hard.”
That one act, he wrote, changed his life: “To this day, I can close my eyes and feel on my tongue the smooth, slick sweetness of the cream cheese and jelly sandwiches that I gobbled on that summer afternoon when I discovered how a single act of genuine and unassuming civility can change a life forever.”
I never knew Sara Kestenbaum, but years after I had read Carter’s book I gave a lecture to the Jewish community in Georgetown, Washington, to which she had belonged. I told them Carter’s story, which they had not heard before. But they nodded in recognition. “Yes,” one said, “that’s the kind of thing Sara would do.” One act can change a life.
* * *
There is a corollary moment in the Bible. It freeze-frames, as it were, a critical moment in one person’s life, showing what is at stake in a single moment of moral choice. The person concerned is Jacob’s eldest son Reuben.
Jacob loved Joseph; Joseph’s brothers did not. One day, when Joseph was seventeen, Jacob sent him to see how the brothers were faring. They were tending the flocks far from home. We sense, reading the narrative, that this will be a fateful encounter. The brothers see Joseph from afar, and the sight of his cloak – symbol of Jacob’s love – enrages them. They realize that, alone with no one to see them, they can kill Joseph and construct a tale that will be impossible to disprove.
Only Reuben protests. At this juncture the narrative does something that has no precise parallel anywhere in the Torah. It makes a statement that cannot be read literally. What it says is this: וַיִּשְׁמַע רְאוּבֵן וַיַּצִּלֵהוּ מִיָּדָם ‘Reuben heard and saved him from their hands’ (Gen. 37:21). Almost immediately, we discover that he did not. He tried, but failed. The text states the might-have-been. Reuben intended to save Joseph. He wanted to, tried to, made an effort to, but it was not enough. In a subtle but unmistakable way the text is telling us about the moral life itself: we never know the consequences of our actions. Reuben came close to heroism at that moment – but stopped short.
His plan was simple. He told the brothers not to kill Joseph but to let him die: “‘Let’s not take his life’, he said. ‘Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him’” (37:21-22). The text then – again unusually, for it is rare for the Torah to describe a person’s intentions – explains what he had in mind: “Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.” His plan was to come back to the pit while the brothers’ attention was elsewhere, lift him out and take him home. But by the time Reuben returned to rescue Joseph, he found him gone. He is bereft. “When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. He went back to his brothers and said, ‘The boy is not there! Where can I turn now?’” (37:30). It is now clear what the text is doing when it says, ‘Reuben heard and saved him from their hands’. It is applying the principle מחשבה טובה מצרפה למעשה, “God reckons a good intention as if it were a deed” (Kiddushin 40a).
On this, an enigmatic Midrash (Ruth Rabbah 5:6) states the following:
א”ר יצחק בר מריון בא הכתוב ללמדך שאם אדם עושה מצוה יעשנה בלבב שלם שאלו היה ראובן יודע שהקב”ה מכתיב עליו (בראשית ל”ז) וישמע ראובן ויצילהו מידם, בכתפו היה מוליכו אצל אביו.
If Reuben had only known that the Holy One, blessed be He, would write of him, ‘And Reuben heard and saved him from their hands’, he would have picked him up on his shoulders and carried him back to his father.
What does this mean? To understand it, we must ask what would have happened had Reuven done that, had he put his intention into action and immediately rescued Joseph and taken him home? Joseph would not have been sold into slavery. He would not have been taken to Egypt. He would not have risen to greatness. The children of Israel would not have settled in Egypt. There would have been no exile, no enslavement, no bread of affliction, no bitter herbs of slavery, no Pesach. The entire course of Jewish history would have been different.
If only Reuven had known. If only he had been able to read the book. If only he could see the ending of the story, he would have realised that his next act might have changed the world. But Reuven didn’t know. Sarah Kestenbaum didn’t know. We never know. We never know what will be the results of our actions or omissions because we live, as Maimonides said, half asleep. We only see the here-and-now; we can never foresee the long chain of consequences of our actions.
In this age of unprecedented scientific knowledge, we know so much. Looking up to the heavens, we know they contain 100 billion galaxies, each with 100 billion stars. Looking down at the microcosm of the human body, we know that every body contains 100 trillion cells. Every cell contains a nucleus. Every nucleus contains a double copy of the human genome. Every copy of the genome contains 3.1 billion letters of the genetic code, which if transcribed would fill a library of 5,000 books. There is only one undiscovered country left. It is called: the future. One thing we will never know: what tomorrow will bring. That is why we fail to realise that small acts have large consequences.
This is a branch of mathematics known as chaos theory, best known through meteorologist Edward Lorenz’s 1963 description of the ‘butterfly effect’ – the idea that the beating of a butterfly’s wing in Australia can cause a tornado in Kansas or a monsoon in Indonesia. So interwoven are the chains of cause and effect in complex systems that there is no natural equilibrium, no way of foretelling what the result of an event will be. Small acts can have large outcomes. Maimonides’ statement is the application of a similar idea to human behaviour. It is the chaos theory of virtue.
* * *
The late David Baum was one of the most unusual men I ever met. To picture him one has to think of Harpo Marx. David was his clone – short, full of energy, with the same shock of curly silver hair and an impish, mischievous smile. He was a deeply religious Jew: he loved davening; he regularly learned Gemara; he was intensely proud of his people and his faith. Together with his wife Angela, he played an active role in the Jewish community in Bristol where he lived. He saw care for children, the preservation of life and the idea that we are put in this world by God to make a difference, as sacred values, compass bearings in our journey through an otherwise confusing world. But he carried his faith lightly. He was full of fun. He was a man who took God so seriously that he did not need to take himself seriously at all.
David was a paediatrician, one of the finest in Britain. He developed new techniques of child care. Among them were the ‘silver swaddler’ he invented to protect premature babies, and the technique he developed for pasteurising human milk. He worked tirelessly to create the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and became its first President. He chose as its motto the words from Psalm 127, ‘Children are God’s heritage and His reward to us’ and was immoderately proud of Hebrew poster he had made had of these words – designed by his son, a religious artist living in Tzefat.
Not content to confine his work to Britain, he went to Brazil, Ethiopia and Thailand and helped doctors there to improve levels of child care. He did the same in Moscow, as a result of which he became a friend of President Mikhail Gorbachev. He was deeply concerned with the fate of refugee children during the 1999 war in Kosovo, and it was in the course of a sponsored bicycle ride to raise money to build a health care centre in Pristina that he suffered the heart attack that killed him at the tragically young age of fifty-nine.
David was a religious Zionist. Though he lived in Bristol, he left instructions that he was to be buried in Israel, in Rosh Pinah. One of the last projects in which he was involved was the creation of a state-of-the-art child care centre for Palestinian children in Gaza. He explained to people that this was what Zionism meant for him: to want the best for Israel’s children but no less for the children of Israel’s neighbours. That is the kind of Zionism that makes Israel – so often travestied in the media – one of the great affirmations of life in the modern world: the opposite of the culture of terror and death that overshadows the 21st century.
David used to tell a story – taken from the American anthropologist Loren Eiseley – that summed up his attitude to life. An old man was walking on the beach at dawn when he noticed a young man picking up starfish stranded by the retreating tide, and throwing them back into the sea one by one. He went up to him and asked him why he was doing this. The young man replied that the starfish would die if left exposed to the morning sun. ‘But the beach goes on for miles, and there are thousands of starfish. You will not be able to save them all. How can your effort make a difference?’ The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. ‘To this one,’ he said, ‘it makes a difference.’
David loved that story because he knew that we do not have to redeem the world all together in one go. We do it one day at a time, one person at a time, one act at a time. A single life, said the Sages, is like a universe. Save a life and you save a world. Change a life and you begin to change the world.
My late father, A”H, did not have an easy life. He came as a child to Britain, fleeing persecution in Poland. His family were poor. They lived in the East End of London. There wasn’t enough money to allow my father to have an education. He had to leave school at the age of fourteen to help support the family. He never succeeded in business. Yet he gave us, his four boys, the greatest gift that any parent can bestow. When I was four or five years old and we were walking back from shul on Shabbat, I used to ask him questions. His answer never varied. He used to look at me and say, “Jonathan, I never had an education, not secular not Jewish; so I can’t answer your questions. But one day you will have the education I didn’t have and you will teach me the answers to those questions.” If you want your child to grow up to be a Chief Rabbi, that is how you do it.
He gave us, his children, the chance to give him pride. And although he never achieved success or wealth or fame, he did something most nights that made a permanent impression on me. He used to walk the streets in our neighbourhood looking for a mezuzah. Wherever he saw one, he would knock on the door, say shalom aleichem, introduce himself to whoever was there, and ask them if they would like to go with him to shul on Shabbos. That was his avodah, his way of serving God, and it inspired me.
When he died, I discovered something every person who has sat shiva knows. People came to be menachem avel, to give us comfort, often people I had never met before. They would speak of kindnesses my father had done – sometimes fifty or sixty years before, before we were born. At first, when I heard these stories I would inwardly weep. I used to think: “Why did you never say that when my father was alive? Why did you wait until he was no longer here to say Thank you?” If he had only known the impact he had on others, it might have eased some of the pain he felt throughout his life. Then, of course, I realised that this is the inescapable condition of a human life. We never know what impact we have on others. But then I knew without a doubt how wrong Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony was. The good we do does live after us. It is the most important thing that does. No act of kindness is forgotten. Sometimes it has incalculable consequences.
* * *
In recent years I have come to know the Israeli novelist, Amos Oz. We did a dialogue together at Bar Ilan University to show that religious and secular Jews could converse in mutual respect. In the middle of it, he said “I propose that Rabbi Sacks and I start a new political party together in Israel: Religious and Secular against the Hellenists of Tel Aviv.” He began our conversation by saying, “I don’t think I agree with Rabbi Sacks on everything. But then – on most things I don’t even agree with myself.” He tells a wonderful story in his autobiography, A Tale of Love and Darkness.
In it he speaks about his father, a man who could read sixteen languages and speak eleven, a brilliant scholar who, because there was only one university in Israel at the time, never rose above the job of assistant librarian. A disappointed man, he dedicated his spare time to writing a book, The Novella in Hebrew Literature, into which he poured all his frustrated energies. Eventually it was complete, and he would rush every day to the local post office, anxious to receive the first copies. They came. He invited his closest friends – including the novelist Israel Zarchi who lived in the same apartment block – to celebrate. Oz continues:
Father’s happiness lasted for three or four days, and then his face fell. Just as he had rushed to the post office every day before the package arrived, so he now rushed every day to Achiasaf’s bookshop in King George V Avenue, where three copies of The Novella were displayed for sale. The next day the same three copies were there, not one of them had been purchased. And the same next day, and the day after that.
‘You’, Father said with a sad smile to his friend Israel Zarchi, ‘write a new novel every six months, and instantly all the pretty girls snatch you off the shelves and take you straight to bed with them, while we scholars, we wear ourselves out for years on end checking every detail, verifying every quotation, spending a week on a single footnote, and who bothers to read us? If we’re lucky two or three fellow-prisoners in our own discipline read our books before they tear us to shreds. Sometimes not even that. We are simply ignored.’
The days passed. No copies were sold. Oz’s father no longer spoke about his disappointment, but it was there ‘like a smell’.
And then suddenly, a couple of days later, on Friday evening, he came home beaming happily . . . ‘They’re sold! They’ve all been sold! All in one day! Not one copy sold! Not two copies sold! All three sold! The whole lot! My book is sold out – Shachna Achiasaf is going to order some more copies from Chachik in Tel Aviv! He’s ordered them already! This morning! By telephone! Not three copies, another five! And he thinks that is not going to be the end of the story!’
His father and mother go out to celebrate, leaving young Amos in the care of Zarchi, the novelist downstairs:
Mr Zarchi sat me down on the sofa and talked to me for a bit, I don’t remember what about, but I shall never forget how I suddenly noticed on the little coffee table by the sofa no fewer than four identical copies of The Novella in Hebrew Literature, one on top of the other, like in a shop, one copy that I knew Father had given to Mr Zarchi with an inscription, and three more that I just couldn’t understand, and it was on the tip of my time to ask Mr Zarchi, but at the last moment I remembered the three copies that had just been bought today, at long last, in Achiasaf’s bookshop, and I felt a rush of gratitude inside me that almost brought tears to my eyes. Mr Zarchi saw that I had noticed them and he did not smile, but shot me a sidelong glance through half-closed eyes, as though he were silently accepting me into his band of conspirators, and without saying a word he leant over, picked up three of the four copies on the coffee table, and secreted them in a drawer of his desk. I too held my peace, and said nothing either to him or to my parents. I did not tell a soul until after Zarchi died in his prime and after my father’s death . . .
I count two or three writers among my best friends, friends who have been close to me and dear to me for decades, yet I am not certain that I could do for one of them what Israel Zarchi did for my father. Who can say if such a generous ruse would have even occurred to me. After all, he, like everyone else in those days, lived a hand-to-mouth existence, and the three copies of The Novella in Hebrew Literature must have cost him at least the price of some much-needed clothes.Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (London: Chatto & Windus, 2004), pp. 129-131.
I quote this story because it so beautifully illustrates a concept that ought to exist in ethics but doesn’t: original virtue. Sin is rarely original, but a good deed sometimes is. Anyone who has ever been in a similar situation to Amos Oz’s father will know how that one act must have changed his life.
And that possibility stands perpetually before us. If we believe in Divine Providence, then we know that we are where we are because this is where God wanted us to be. In every situation, there is something He wants us to do, some act of redemption he wants us to perform. The best way of knowing what it is – and this was Bella Wexner’s way — is to turn the situation upside down. We experience pain to sensitise us to the pain of others. Turning our emotions outward, we can use them as the key to free someone else from the locked room of suffering or disappointment or grief. That is how we transmute fate into blessing.
There is a most unusual blessing we make after eating or drinking something that requires the blessing of shehakol: – בורא נפשות רבות וחסרונם.
We thank God for “creating many souls and their deficiencies.” Normally we thank God for what we have. How can we thank God for what we lack? How can there be a blessing over a negation, a deficiency, something we do not have? The answer is that if we lacked nothing, we would never need anyone else. We would live in splendid isolation. And in Judaism, “It is not good for man to be alone.” That is not how God wanted us to be. The very fact that He “created many kinds of souls” – that each of us is different – means that what I lack, you may have. What you lack, I may have. Each of us has something to give that someone else needs. One smile can rescue a person from depression. A single gesture of kindness, hospitality, can redeem a person from solitude. Not lightly did the Sages say: “Greater is hospitality than receiving the Divine Presence.”
Let me therefore end with a simple story. The late Viktor Frankl survived Auschwitz and out of his experiences there constructed a new mode of psychotherapy: logotherapy, based on “man’s search for meaning.” In one of his books he tells the following: One night at three a.m. one of his patients phoned him and said, “Dr. Frankl, you are my psychotherapist, and out of courtesy, I want to tell you that I am about to commit suicide.” Frankl tells of how he kept her talking on the phone for two hours, giving her every reason to live. Eventually she said, “You are right. I will not take my life.”
A few days later, he met her and asked her which argument of his persuaded her. “None,” she said, “They were all terrible.” “Why then,” he asked, “did you change your mind?” She replied: “The fact that someone in this world was willing to listen to me for two hours at three in the morning persuaded me that this is a world worth living in.” Sometimes the greatest command is Shema, meaning, “Just listen.”
Maimonides was right. Our next act can change a life; and if a life is a universe, changing a life is a way of changing the universe. The Sages said:
.יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת
There are those whose lives are justified by one moment, one deed; and they may never know.Avodah Zarah 18a
Van Gogh in his entire lifetime sold only one painting. Beethoven wrote his greatest works having been deaf for twenty years. We never know the impact of our deeds – and that is the significance of what I have called the chaos theory of virtue. Small acts have large consequences.
In a world where religion is increasingly associated with extremism, violence and terror, we — the Jewish people – must show by our deeds that we can heal where the others harm. We can mend where others break. The only answer equal to a fundamentalism of hate is a counter-fundamentalism of love. We each have a contribution to make. The Hebrew word for contribution, terumah, does not mean merely “to give”. It means “to lift, to raise.” That is the majestic truth of the human situation: Lifting others, we ourselves are lifted.
With the example of Bella Wexner of blessed memory before us, and with the still small voice of God within us, let us heal some of fractures of our world: a day at a time, an act at a time, a life at a time. May each of us merit that glorious blessing Moshe Rabbeinu gave to those who build a home for God:
.יהי רצון שתשרה שכינה במעשי ידינו
May it be God’s will that His Presence lives in the work of our hands.”
 Leviticus Rabbah 34; Ruth Rabbah 5; Tanhuma (Buber), Vayeshev 13; Yalkut Shimoni, Ruth 604.
 See Edward N. Lorenz, The Nature and Theory of the General Circulation of the Atmosphere (Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 1967); The Essence of Chaos (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993). See also J. Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science (New York: Penguin Books, 1987).
 Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower, (New York: Times Books, 1978).