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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Chess’

Passover and Government Presence

By Richard ChessMay 1, 2017

“In what ways do you experience the presence of government—city, county, state, federal—in your life, your daily life, your professional life?” That’s how we began, with that question. Asking questions, that’s the practice, isn’t it, that leads to liberation? And that’s why we were there that night, wasn’t it, to recount an experience of liberation…

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Dancing with Words During National Poetry Month

By Richard ChessApril 10, 2017

Here’s your assignment. Choose a poem you’ve written (it could be any piece of writing, really, an email message, a shopping list, a complaint to a cable service provider, a toast for a wedding—you get the idea. If it’s a poem, chose only a few lines. If it’s another piece of writing, choose a portion…

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Love Nailed to the Doorpost

By Richard ChessMarch 23, 2017

The commandment to love is nailed to my doorpost. Ritualistically written on a little piece of parchment, rolled up, tucked inside a beautifully painted ceramic case, and nailed aslant to the doorpost. I almost never notice it. Not when I’m rushing out of the house in the morning, book bag and gym bag slung over…

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I Am an American

By Richard ChessMarch 2, 2017

I refresh the page, I refresh the page, I turn away for a few minutes, I teach a class for seventy-five minutes, I sit in a meeting for sixty minutes, and on the way to the meeting, on the way back to my office from the class, with my iPhone in my palm, at the…

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Hot Stuff: What Image Contributors Are Reading This Month, Part 1

By ImageFebruary 20, 2017

The writers and artists in our pages are interesting folks with interesting reading lives. So we asked the contributors in Image’s current issue: what have you read, seen, or listened to lately that you would recommend to our readers? They did not disappoint.  Want more Contributor Picks? Find more in our free review and curation service,…

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The Next Abraham

By Richard ChessJanuary 30, 2017

A few days ago, I was blessed to be present at my grandson Abraham’s bris, his ritual circumcision. The mohel, the rabbi who officiated at and performed the circumcision, explained to the family and friends gathered for the ceremony, explained that a bris is the way God signs God’s name on a Jewish male baby.…

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A Song of Songs for These American Days

By Richard ChessJanuary 4, 2017

With thanks and apologies to the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Neil Young, Wallace Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, the Wailin’ Jennys, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, God, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Sam Baker, The Band, Bruce Cockburn, The Grateful Dead, Richie Havens, and all the musicians and poets who have sustained and nourished…

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How Do You Write?

By Richard ChessNovember 14, 2016

Do you write with a pen? Do you write with the wind? Do you pray first? Do you pray when you are stuck? Do you pray after? Or are you praying the whole way through? Do you wait for the singer on the beach or the sinner in the confession booth to finish before you…

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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…

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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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