A Note from Rabbi Creditor: The Pause After the Call
A Note from Rabbi Creditor The Pause After the Call
Sunday night's spiritual power blew the roof off our shul.
We were blessed, thanks to the dedication of Tobie Lurie, Sharon Priven, and Karen Hecht, to host an Iftar (breaking the fast of Ramadan) with the Bay Area Cultural Connections (BayCC), a local Turkish Muslim group whose mission is to organizes activities to help establish a tolerant, caring, and educated society. Over 75 Jews and Muslims sat together, meeting, eating, learning - and, thanks to John Erlich, singing!
Two calls, followed by two pauses:
Oytun Eskiyenenturk, a leader of BAYCC, closed his eyes and called the Muslim men and women to prayer. Here we were, gathered in our sacred home, granting space to our brothers and sisters who call God by the name Allah. I stood next to him and felt the hearts of all those gathered, Jewish and Muslim, swell. We breathed so deeply in the fleeting seconds following Oyton's call.
Toward the end of the evening, I gave a tour of our glorious sanctuary to our guests. We discussed our glorious Aron HaKodesh (which was just awarded the lead space for September in the international United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism calendar!). We spoke of prayer. We spoke of individual and communal spiritual experiences.
And then our teacher, Rabbi Bochner, called everyone gathered to attention by blowing shofar. And our hearts swelled again. We stood together, knowing that the world would see us as an exception despite all that we shared. But in that moment, in the pause after the call, we tasted hope. We saw each other as family.
In this month of Elul (marked by our cousins as Ramadan) which leads into Rosh HaShannah, a day where we dream of a world reborn, may we begin to realize a hope that can and will - and must - unite more and more people on Netivot Shalom - Paths of Peace.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…