Menu

Posts Tagged ‘Judaism’

Poetry Friday: “Sabbath”

By Dan BellmJanuary 12, 2018

Sabbath as beloved bride and queen: familiar tropes in Jewish liturgy and thought. Now, thanks to Dan Bellm’s “Sabbath,” a subtle poem of loss and longing, a promise and a vow, we have another metaphor: Sabbath as mother. The Sabbath, a fixed period of time, stands outside of time. Jews are commanded to keep and…

Read More

Jews Without Jerusalem

By Richard ChessDecember 26, 2017

Unimaginable. That’s precisely why I will imagine it. Shake them, shake the books, shake the siddur, prayerbook, shake the Tanakh, the Bible, shake them vigorously until the word is shaken loose, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Yerushalayim. Titgadal v’titkadash b’toch Yerushalyim irkha: May You be exalted and sanctified in Jerusalem. Having arrived at the heart of our…

Read More

To Be Born Again

By Richard ChessOctober 9, 2017

The day after Yom Kippur 5778  When I finish being born for the fourth time, I will live in a house by the sea. The windows facing the ocean will hold the ocean, as much as glass can hold. The phone will vibrate with messages of peace. There will still be a trashcan: everything that…

Read More

How To Intuit a Book Title

By Richard ChessJuly 6, 2017

How do poets and writers choose their book titles? I didn’t have a good answer to the question, “Why did you choose the title Love Nailed to the Doorpost?” posed at a recent reading, though I knew that sooner or later that someone would ask. I did have a superficial answer, but I hadn’t thought…

Read More

Reading Love Nailed to the Doorpost

By Peggy RosenthalJune 19, 2017

If you want to be submerged in the depths of Jewish spirituality, this is the book to read: Love Nailed to the Doorpost, by Richard Chess. No, not “read”: at least not “read” in the way you would read an email or a newspaper or a novel. The poems and prose-poems collected in this book…

Read More

Traveling Through These Days of Awe

By Richard ChessOctober 17, 2016

I’m in a plane ascending to 37,000 feet. How restless have I been this year? How easily distractible? Already on this flight, from the time of boarding the plane until now, I’ve jumped from e-mail to Facebook to FiveThirtyEight to Jane Hirshfield on Basho to Mishkan Hanefesh, Sanctuary of the Soul, the Reform movement’s new…

Read More

Getting Close to You, God: A Meditation During the Month of Elul

By Richard ChessSeptember 27, 2016

“You are my light and my help / Whom should I fear?” Thus begins Norman Fischer’s Zen-inspired translation of Psalm 27. Right now, at this very moment, Shabbat morning, the 14th of Elul, 5776; Sept. 17, 2016, these verses don’t resonate with me. Fear: yes, I am afraid, afraid, at the moment, that I won’t…

Read More

The Dragon and the Yahrzeit Candle: On Forgetting and Remembering, Part 3

By Richard ChessJune 30, 2016

Continued from yesterday and Tuesday. In Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, David Hinton observes, “We tend to ignore the disappearing, the forgetfulness, but all day long, day in and day out, forgetfulness keeps us woven into dragon’s traceless transformations.” The dragon, he explained earlier, is “China’s mythological embodiment of all creation…

Read More

The Dragon and the Yahrzeit Candle: On Forgetting and Remembering, Part 2

By Richard ChessJune 29, 2016

Continued from yesterday.  I dive into the pool. My body remembers water. My body remembers how to swim. My arm swings overhead, my arm follows through, my hand plunges into the water, pushing water, propelling my body forward down the lane. It seems to happen naturally, automatically. I don’t need to think to swim. I…

Read More

The Dragon and the Yahrzeit Candle: On Forgetting and Remembering, Part 1

By Richard ChessJune 28, 2016

I remember my social security number. I remember the combination to a lock—13 right, 27 left, 5 right—that rusted beyond use some years ago. How many years? I don’t remember. But I remember this: it was two locks ago. I remember the name of the city in which I was born. I remember the name…

Read More

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Pin It on Pinterest