Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Jolly Solly: By the Numbers

R. Atkins

From them on, Miriam was busy finding numbers everywhere. She would check the letters that came in the mail, and read the numbers on the address; she’d read the numbers on the tuna cans in the closet, listing the weight of the contents…

Thursday, April 20, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

M iriam came home from Morah’s looking very pleased with herself one day.

“I know numbers!” she announced grandly.

Moishy tested her, pointing at the numbers on the height chart in their bedroom, and indeed, she knew all the numbers from one to ten. Anything bigger, she called a “million shkillion.”

From them on, Miriam was busy finding numbers everywhere. She would check the letters that came in the mail, and read the numbers on the address; she’d read the numbers on the tuna cans in the closet, listing the weight of the contents. And when she ran out of numbers to read, she begged Moishy to play school with her and write numbers on the little easel they shared.

“Well, all right, just for a bit,” agreed Moishy, who really would rather have spent his time practicing with the new set of juggling balls Jolly Solly had given him. Moishy and Miriam played a game where he was the teacher and wrote a number on the easel, and Miriam had to see how quickly she could name it. She sailed through her numbers effortlessly, until Moishy wrote a large 0.

“Circle,” declared Miriam at once.

Moishy shook his head. “You need to say a number.”

“But it’s round, so it’s a circle,” protested Miriam. “Dat’s what Morah told us. And if it’s a box-shape it’s a square, and if it’s—”

“That’s when you’re doing shapes,” Moishy corrected her. “Now we’re doing numbers.”

 

Moishy explained that it was called zero, and it meant “nothing.”

Miriam couldn’t make heads or tails of this. At Morah’s, they were always practicing numbers. Morah would put pretzels on their plates, and they would count how many. Or Morah would choose someone to give out five pretzels to each girl, and everyone would watch carefully to make sure she counted properly so all was fair and square. But what was the point of a number that meant “nothing”? (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 656)

Related Stories

Much Ado about… Nothing!

Rochel Burstyn

What’s the smallest number? One, right? Well, actually, it’s zero. Let’s zero in on zero, so you can...

Jr. Tales: The Sweeter Side of Zero

Rivkah Small

Breindy was definitely dragging her feet now at the thought of having to study sloooowly with Tirtza...

Fair and Square

Chana Yanofsky

Other thoughts hammered away in her head. Meira. The two of them had once joked that they could writ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"