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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

the stones I cannot place

My mother’s ‘passing’  has crippled my writing.  And apparently that’s not all. It would be unfair to blame her, per se, because that would be rude.  But I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that she’s had a hand in it.  Some lesson left to teach. I thought what would be fitting (I had this brilliant idea […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony tzaddik stories

and death is so much closer than it was—a kaddish for rebecca fromer

The house is empty. I’m not sure what to do and death is so much closer than it was— The phone isn’t ringing starting 5 AM and every ten minutes or so thereafter Even the delusions have stopped having culminated in one final coup de gras She ascended, ascended to Jerusalem. I got calls from what […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

like an addiction, it’s hard to stop—

I can’t quite take the pictures down. Can’t quite stop staring at them. Can’t call it an altar exactly, but I know others do. Others have. And others will.  How do we stop mourning and put the pictures away? And the candles. And the little mementos and ritual objects that surround those photos that remind […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

the tzaddik and the automobile of art maintenance

Everybody knows about the tzaddik’s cars. They were fairly famous. His vehicles impersonated him. They imprinted on him. Everybody remembers particular stories about his cars.  Only I don’t know all of the stories. And that really bugs me. I guess what I really want is to know everything. Collect everything. Every shred of memory. I […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony tzaddik stories

secrets of the tzaddik

He wanted it spelled ‘poppa’ not ‘papa.’  He was definitive about that, but not about much else.  I always wondered why. It seemed anachronistic, that spelling, but maybe that’s the point. He was from a different era. How could he not be?  Maybe the word  ‘poppa’ made him feel warm and fuzzy, and maybe  ‘papa’ […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

the man in the pink suit

When the family lived in Los Angeles, the tzaddik showed early signs of what was to come.  Only it was a bit more theatrical down there in Southern California. The tzaddik produced an opera, believe it or not—the opera David, by Darius Milhaud—at the Hollywood Bowl. He even borrowed back the bible story engravings that […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

kaddish, pain, and ascension

I was very moved by Erin’s kaddish for the old Bay Bridge — which, of course, wasn’t about the bridge at all.  And I thought, oy, what a can of worms this kaddish has opened.  Daily kaddish may well be harmful to the health, I thought.  Every day you are in mourning, focusing on that […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony tzaddik stories

the letters

Clearing out biofather’s house. Inventory of everything imaginable. Mostly art, of course — but there’s all the detritus.  Up in the studio, where the paintbrushes lived. And the rolls of silk paper and chops and engraving materials. Chemicals. Chinese watercolors. Favorite everythings: scissors, cameras, even silk cord.  That was all upstairs.  But then I ventured […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

my father’s favorite boys speak up

Did the tzaddik walk into a bar? Did he drink a beer? Did he watch the World Series on that day? So. The answer appears to be (I’ll cut to the chase) — no, he did not.  The whole tzaddik walks into a bar story that I told, turns out to be almost completely off. […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

a tzaddik walks into a bar…

They were driving between X and Y — who knows where they’d been. They were rushing. Last game of the World Series was about to start, and they weren’t anywhere near getting back on time to watch the game.