What Kind of a Name is That? Part 3

Two months later, on a warm March day when the crocuses bloomed and the sparrows sang, Adam called me. At the sound of his voice my heart pounded so hard I could scarcely breathe. I dragged the phone into my bedroom and shut the door.

“Laura tells me you’re reading Spinoza,” he said, sounding pleased.

Spinoza was rough going. I was still struggling with the first ten pages. I carried the book everywhere, as though constant contact with it would make it easier to understand. “I’m trying to,” I said.

“Let me know what you think when you finish it,” he said.

Something was wrong. It was more than Spinoza. When Adam and I sat hand in hand in the Havdalah dark I was ecstatic. In bright light, we had little to say to one another. Yet every week he beguiled me into coming back. “Adam, why did you call?”

“I have something to ask you.”

He’s going to ask me out, I thought, and the blood rushed to my head so dizzyingly that I had to lie flat on my bed. “Ask me anything.”

“Come away,” he said, and I supplied the rest: my sister, my bride.


“It’s not Mount Hermon. It’s Arazim.” Arazim was Temple Zion’s summer camp in northern Minnesota. Disappointed, I said, “I’m not sure.”

“I’d like to see you come with us.”


“It will be fun. I know it will,” he coaxed.

I was convinced, whether he meant it or not. “I’ll go.”