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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Chess’

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…

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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…

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What Keeps Me from You

By Richard ChessNovember 28, 2017

What keeps me from you: a meeting with human resources. What keeps me from you: I slept through the night to the dream of shopping. For a board. With wheels. Low to the ground. Lower than other boards. Lower to the ground than most kids. You can skate, you can roll, but you can’t fall.…

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Everything I Know

By Richard ChessNovember 9, 2017

Everything I know fits inside my body, but where does my body end? Is it as deep and wide as the lake in which I swim? Is it as thin as an electric guitar’s high E string? The lead guitarist solos; my body bends, ascends, and descends with the notes. He’s playing a Gibson SG,…

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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…

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Questions for the One Who Waits

By Richard ChessSeptember 25, 2017

I wait only for you. –Psalm 27, translated by Norman Fischer Psalm 27 is read by Jews from the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul through the Jewish High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year; and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is a psalm about how fearlessness and fearfulness come and…

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The Sweetness These Days

By Richard ChessAugust 23, 2017

On the phone, he says, Your mother throws me over her shoulder and carries me across the parking lot to the club house, the dining room. (She rolls his walker to a corner of the dining room where it won’t obstruct the servers and other residents who have come tonight for dinner.) His sense of…

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Who Is This Aliveness I Am?

By Richard ChessJuly 31, 2017

I am alive. I am alive. I am alive.     Who is this aliveness I am? What is this aliveness I am? How is this aliveness I am? * We sing, we chant. Our leader, Rabbi Jeff Roth. The words: a teaching from Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, a student of the Ba’al Shem…

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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…

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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…

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