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essays

check list for the living

When a good friend checked herself into a posh home for unencumbered elders … I stopped seeing her. This, despite that she now resided 60 miles closer than she had before. This despite my longstanding secret desire that she move those 60 miles closer. It took me over a year to visit her in the […]

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essays

death in paradise

We hike in paradise on a daily basis. Slog though the sand on the cliffs overlooking the shore — and the sand gets deeper every year. Though every other year or so a truck comes by and tries to clear the trail some. The sand returns, carried by the wind. Someday, I’ll be slogging through […]

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essays

on not wanting a ‘conversation with god’

Last night, I had another tetragrammaton moment, where all the elements — the yud, the hei, the vav, and the hei — come together, alchemically bound and perfect in every way. Well, it wasn’t that. There were only three of us, and I was the only hei, but never mind that. It’s not what I […]

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essays

glossary, as requested (with apologies)

In no particular order, maybe this will help: shikse — (aka shiksa) — term of endearment (or not) for women of the non-Jewish persuasion. the most important sub-category is, of course, the shikse-goddess. shul — synagogue, small or large, in which members of the tribe congregate for ritual acts and moments of imposed solidarity. shabbes […]

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essays tzaddik stories

the rebbe and the wise little children

A friend and colleague posted this quote from Arthur Green on his blog and so, of course, I’ve struggled with it. Which is better than saying, yet again, that it pissed me off: “We would understand the entire course of evolution from the simplest life forms millions of years ago, to the great complexity of […]

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essays tzaddik stories

how the sages die

Within an hour of his demise, my father looked exactly like a very very dead body. He was already cold. His mouth was open in the midst of his last unfinished sentence. One hour was the time it took me to get there as fast as I could wake up and get across the bridge. […]

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essays tzaddik stories

the fourth rabbi

When M was little, the tzaddik gave him a book of Bible Stories. I think it changed my son forever. That night I heard this scream from upstairs, and ran up to see what was wrong. He was tucked in bed with the book in his lap, outraged. He got right to the point: “How […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony

running away together — dordogne

It’s not like either of us never went anywhere — though I thought she had me beat in this regard. Her fieldwork took her to what I thought of as the ends of the earth. although for her, it wasn’t really all that far — just inaccessible. My own favorite spot was in the deep […]