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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

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 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.

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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 […]

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

the tzaddik and the negotiator — a mother’s day meditation

Malkah was in such awe of the tzaddik that she spent most of her time with him asking questions, and nodding at the wisdom of his responses.  Of course, his responses generally started with the need to do more research.  Look things up.  Even go to the library, when he was stumped.  But most of […]

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

on the transmigration of souls (jewish deli style)

You wouldn’t think that the Jewish tradition was big on transmigration of souls — but it is.  I’m not even sure this concept is taught much anymore in more mainstream non-Orthodox and Hassidic circles.  But what do I know?   I’ve not set foot in a shul for a very  long time.  And even then, […]

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essays Seymour Fromer z"l tzaddik stories

anyone who is hungry, let them come and eat

The tzaddik grew up in the Bronx, across from Yankee Stadium. That must say a lot about him, but I’m not sure what exactly. His family lived in a shvitzy little apartment, overcrowded with uncles and cousins and such. That was in addition to mamma, poppa, the tzaddik and his two younger brothers. Of course, […]

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essays kaddish in two-part harmony tzaddik stories

bondage, sephardi style

I have heard this bit every single Pesach of my life when my mother has been present.  And when she wasn’t, I’ve taken it upon myself to tell it myself (albeit a short short version).  All my stories are the short short version, in case you haven’t noticed.  Mrs Tzaddik is much better on detail. […]