Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2014

Major Israel Rally in San Francisco this Sunday, August 3, 12:00PM-2:00PM

Major Israel Rally  in San Francisco this Sunday When:  Sunday, August 3, 12:00PM-2:00PM Where: Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco  (Polk between McAllister and Grove)
For more information, please contact Guy Amdur ( or visit the event page on Facebook: fixed link:
Please join the supporters of Israel on Sunday as we share our love of Israel in the heart of San Francisco.  
Our friends and family in Israel have been the target of over 2,000 rockets during the past three weeks, each one aimed deliberately at civilians and each one using civilians as human shields. The brave men and women of the IDF are destroying tunnels meant for an invasion that could have killed thousands of women, children, and senior citizens. We can't be there to help them in person, but we can show them our support in public. Come join us to show that we are all united in our support for Israel, it's right to defend itself and it's desire…

A word about the current ripples of Jewish trauma.

A word about the current ripples of Jewish trauma. It's as if normal conversation ended weeks ago. The Three Weeks and the Nine Days and all their mournful customs began early, and every day sort of feels like Tisha Be'Av, each moment full loss and unanswerable questions. Jews are deeply vulnerable and have always been, but suddenly the language of the siddur begins to feel more relevant, if unsettling. If only prayer could feel detached from reality once more, if only we could again be forced to endure boring conversation, if only we could reclaim our hearts and re-enter the sacred everyday. Please God, return to us the capacity to imagine beyond the right now into tomorrow.

Why are there more Palestinian deaths than Israelis?

Someone I care deeply about just posed a question that might seem obvious to some, but requires response, over and over and over. Why are there more Palestinian deaths than Israelis? The "simple" answer is: Hamas used more than 800,000 tons of cement and steel to build terror tunnels into Israel instead of building shelters and hospitals and schools and housing for Palestinians. Hamas has tried to kill thousands of Israeli civilians, but Israel has dedicated itself to protecting its own population (Iron Dome, every building having, by building code, a bomb shelter). The disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza is based on its leadership valuing terror over life. I hate that this is true.

in two weeks: "Overwhelmed by Argument: The Conversation I Want to Have Now" Convened by Josh Kornbluth

Overwhelmed by Argument: The Conversation I Want to Have Now Convened by Josh Kornbluth
2 evenings: Wednesday Aug. 13 & 20th, 7:30pm-9pm Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley Class fee: $20 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Registration is required – please register with Daniel at
We care, and because we care, we despair. Will there be any outcome for Israelis and Palestinians, for Israel and Palestine, in which both Peoples are acknowledged and respected? Where one group's national aspirations are not deemed unworthy? This is the conversation Josh wants to have, the conversation we believe we need. We need is as Jews. We need it as people. We need it as one People among many Peoples. Will there ever be a solution? We don't know. We worry. Everyone suffers when some suffer. And so someone who cares is convening a loving, respectful conversation with a very clear mandate: More hope, More dignity, More love.
Here are the rules for the conversation Josh …

we haven't YET lost hope

Do We Stand With Israel?Posted: 07/28/2014 3:17 pm Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I've found, as a rabbi in a progressive American Jewish community, that our willingness to see the humanity in the face of "the other" far surpasses our historical willingness to see our own family's faces in the same way. It's an interesting dilemma. Judaism is and has always been a dynamic blend of humanism and tribalism, a complicated and nuanced recipe of elements, alternatively (and sometimes simultaneously) affirming the universal and the particular. How is this so? A few examples: My synagogue's commitment to family doesn't stop us from participating in the SF Gay Pride Parade, though some of the event's content "varies wildly" from the way we define modesty. (The internal debates in the Queer community about whether Marriage is an ideal worth pursuing is an important part…

Support JNF’s emergency relief efforts in Israel!

Support JNF’s emergency relief efforts in Israel! 

Below is a report of JNF's actions in the crisis. You can support JNF's important work online at

Responding to the needs of the people of Israel during Operation Protective Edge, JNF has taken immediate and decisive action since July 8.

·JNF is delivering mobile bomb shelters to border communities in dire need of safe rooms. Many of these Negev communities are under construction, with families living in mobile homes while their permanent homes are being built. These mobile homes are without safe rooms, and the needs are growing as more communities come under fire. ·JNF's partner Nefesh B'Nefesh is providing food to soldiers on the border and this week brought several hundred olim to Israel on a chartered flight. Hamas sends rockets; JNF sends people to build a nation. ·JNF is providing fire trucks, equipment, and supplies to Israel's firefighters, who are the first responders to rocket attacks, …

six must-read articles

These are six must-read articles which prompt me to praise the courage of their authors, celebrate the vibrancy of Israel's democracy, and worry profoundly. (I disagree with aspects of each.)

Noa (Achinoam Nini)'s "Open Letter to the Wind" ( Donniel Hartman's "The War in Gaza: What I Know and What I Do Not Know" ( Keret's "Israel's Other War" ( Naomi Chazan's "Tunnel Vision" ( Horovitz's "John Kerry: The Betrayal" ( David's "Kerry's Cease-fire Draft Revealed" ( (For my own recent writings on Is…

A Pre-Shabbat note: Dignity, Unity, and Pride

A Pre-Shabbat note: Dignity, Unity, and Pride
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor Friends, I'm working on a follow-up piece to "I'm Done Apologizing for Israel," incorporating some of the language and reactions. I've made the decision to not link the articles/blogposts being written at me (barely any are actually about what i actually write in my article), so as not to give voice or exposure to the hatred. I'd much rather amplify the pride the Jewish world should take in our commitment to retain our humanity and act with restraint despite this terror onslaught and PR war. When the carnage is smoldering in the rear-view mirror, as it hopefully will be soon, we'll have to do some personal/communal accounting about what we've learned, who we mean to be as a people, how we lead ourselves forward, the language we allow our leaders to use when speaking about Palestinians, and more. That work is an always-task, including now, which is why I'm so amazed at the Isra…

#life #blessing #joy

Just got back from a beautiful baby boy's beit din. We give no person the power to take away our holy moments, our rapturous joys. We are alive, we are here, we have beautiful work to do in the world as Jews. #life #blessing #jewishjoy

Why do I Tremble?

Why Do I Tremble?
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Sitting here,
cup of coffee in trembling hand,
I reflect: Why do I tremble?
I'm not under threat, am I?
Am I?
My brother, my sister,
my mother, my daughter, my son..
They'll be fine, won't they?
How I speak today
is only words,
isn't it?
An interview doesn't save anyone,
couldn't change anything.. 
Could it? We'll be safe.
We'll be fine.
Won't we?
That's why.

My Times of Israel piece : "The End of Theory"

Time of Israel
The End of TheoryMENACHEM CREDITORJuly 22, 2014, 10:54 pm Menachem CreditorRabbi Menachem Creditor serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California. Named by Newsweek as one … [More] Follow or contact:Facebook