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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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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…

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The Power of Names

By A.G. HarmonSeptember 19, 2016

A few weeks back, the news related a story that a confederate veteran killed at Shiloh and buried under the wrong name for one hundred fifty-four years will now have that mistake rectified. Augustus Beckmann was buried under the name “A. Bergman” at Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. The descendants of the German…

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