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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 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 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 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

the religion of labor: remembering a.d. gordon

I can’t seem to let A.D. Gordon go.  And yet his is not an ideology that almost anyone seems to care about these days. Isn’t the modern task to seek more leisure and relegate labor to lesser beings — transient workers, illegal immigrants, cheap Arab labor, robots if you’ve got ’em? Aharon David Gordon was […]

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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.

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

my father’s favorite boys

Fred and Harold and my dad were like the Marx Brothers. Or the Coen Brothers. Or the Brady Bunch. Or. Or. Or maybe there was nothing like them at all.  A team. A pack. A family. A coven.  A comedy show. My father loved ‘those boys’ with all his heart, and all his might and […]

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

malkah, magnes, and the military police

Malkah was at the Madrid airport, as wholesome as she could be. She had a husband with her and two squeaky clean children with her. And all their camping gear. And all her archives notes. And all her permissions to conduct research. And she got detained anyway trying to leave the country.  It wasn’t the […]