I was born in 1925 in Tel Aviv, Israel, then Palestine — or, officially and colloquially «Eretz-Israel» in the Hebrew version, even on the stamps issued by the Mandatory power. This was then a British Mandate charged with the mission of establishing that Jewish National Home which had been promised by Britain in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Mine was an «Old Settlement family, the equivalent of the American «Mayflower» group: three out of my four grandparents were born in the country, the fourth arriving in 1890 as an adolescent. Their own parents or grandparents had immigrated from Lithuania in 1807 with the Vilna Gaon’s school (a group known as the «New Pharisees»). The Gaon’s disciples represented the cutting edge of rationalistic and scholarly Judaism, the «Resisters» (as they were called) against the «sentimentalist» Hassidic view. Rabbi Eliyahu the Gaon (1720–97) had also been emphatic on the importance of science (he himself did some research in geometry and astronomy although, somewhat paradoxically, he had also been involved in Cabbalistic studies in his youth). The Gaon’s school settled at Tsfat (Safed) in Galilee, thus counterbalancing the nearby Hassidic center established in Tiberias in 1777. After the 1837 earthquake, the family moved to Jerusalem later spreading all over the country. The critical approach characteristic of the Gaon’s school lasted, and I could feel it in my environment as a child.