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To the Richmond City Councilmembers, from Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley

Dear Richmond City Councilmembers,

It is my hope that, especially in the aftermath of the deeply divisive proposals regarding Israel raised last year in the Richmond City Council, the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, the San Francisco City Council, and on the UC Berkeley Campus, our community's voice has been heard.  Geopolitics are not the domain of City government.  We are activists, as individuals, for many causes.  Our local organizations are appropriate places for pursuing wide-ranging commitments.  Local Government has a mandate which is vital, pressing - and inherently local.  The perennial attack on Israel from local Bay Area communities through coordinated misuses of public funding and offices must end.

To be honest, I've long wondered why the leaders of the effort for Palestinian Statehood haven't approached me, or my synagogue, as supporters, which we emphatically are.  I'm a traditional rabbi who prays regularly - and publicly - for a Palestinian State.  Wouldn't a cohesive, unified, voice, truly grassroots without the complication of negotiating an "official" US position, be a healthy way forward?

With my blessings for peace, and my deep concern for a misguided governance effort,

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom  || Bay Area Masorti  || 
Rabbis for Women of the Wall  || 
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Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

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