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Showing posts from October, 2015

VaYeira 5776/2015: "Sermon of the Mount"

VaYeira 5776/2015: "Sermon of the Mount" © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
originally published by Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility

At first I was frightened, but then I calmed down. (TB Shabbat 88a)
When the blood touched me, I trembled, shaken by the unwelcome contact. Even when they first climbed my most tortuous path (TB Shabbat 88b) with their ritual instruments, I knew something was wrong. I had felt pounding like this before. Every footstep was too heavy, pressing downnew pain into the memories just inches below my surface.
Since that very day I have witnessed many burdened lives, but they all remind me of the steps that Abraham and Isaac, along with their servants, took all those years ago. Those footsteps and that blood call out to be heard. (Genesis 4:10) But no one remembers that part.
All I am is accumulated memory, layer after layer of experience — from earth’s core to surface gravel. Only through stories do people today even think to explore my depths…

A Real Response to Israel-Hatred: Love

A Real Response to Israel-Hatred: Love (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
with gratitude to the JCRC and the dozens of Netivot Shalom members 
who showed up to the City of Berkeley HWAC meeting

Hatred against Israel triggers a defensive Jewish posture. But we're better than this. There are so many reasons to be proud of Israel, to celebrate all our Start-Up nation has accomplished. It is unworthy of us to forget the hope, to forget our pride, to hear malicious attacks and only react with apologies.
Tonight, yet again, the City of Berkeley was hijacked by extreme anti-Israel activists whose biggest accomplishment will have been to exacerbate more tension between citizens of our city than anything else. The city's Human Welfare & Community Action Commission (HWCAC) was inappropriately made into a platform for those recommending that the city of Berkeley divest from Israel. That's not big news. Berkeley's history has been peppered by Israel-hostility like this for a very long t…

go [a #poem]


© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

knowing not

what is next

nor what is now

nor what really ever was


from your place,

from your familiar,

from your known,

from your very heart


to yourself,


that might be

Israel Action Alert (coordinated by the JCRC): This Wednesday: Berkeley Considering an Israel-Boycott Resolution

CNS Website |  Make a Gift to CNS!  | CNS Online Calendar |  Rabbi Creditor's Blog from Rabbi Creditor Israel Action Alert  Berkeley Considering an Israel-Boycott Resolution (coordinated by the JCRC) Dear Chevreh,
As I wrote last week, now is the time, given unrelenting terror attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, to stand, as Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson put it: "in simple solidarity with the victims, innocent civilians deliberately murdered just for being Jews, just for being Israeli." (Please stay informed about events as they unfold in Israel. I recommend the following three news outlets: Times of IsraelHa'aretz, and the

Recent Israel Related Event at UC Berkeley

Recent Israel Related Event at UC BerkeleyOct. 15, 2015 Rabbi AdamNaftalin-Kelman Executive Director – UC Berkeley Hillel
As many of you have heard or have seen on Facebook, yesterday Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organized an ‘International Day of Action.’  The protest occurred on the steps of Sproul Plaza.  Being out there for two hours was incredibly difficult to see and hear.  To hear students yell their support for an Intifada was gut wrenching and emotional for me, Berkeley Hillel staff and Jewish students.  For many students, this was their first encounter with others who do not share their strong love for Israel.  What did make me proud was to see so many Jewish students who love Israel out there on Sproul, containing their emotion, holding up Israeli flags and signs, and showing their love and support of Israelis and the Jewish people.  Special thanks go out to Bears For Israel and Tikvah: Students for Israel for their leadership in organizing a thoughtful and importa…

canopy of peace [a #poem]

canopy of peace [a #poem]
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor days to assemble
hours to take apart
canopy of peaceboards readjusted each year
they fit differently each time
canopy of peacesome worn through, others like new
all uneven, just like creation
canopy of peace#poem #poetry #poetcommunity #life #inspiration #peace

Praying for Israel During Troubled Times

This is Not a Million Man March

This is Not a Million Man March
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Regarding the current campaign of Palestinian Violence against Israelis in every region of the State: This is not a Million Man march. This is a murderous rampage. Leaders who rise up and raise up and liberate do not stab and bomb and shoot and ram and preach hatred.

The dignity of all people demand the recognition that oppression exists and that no two systems of oppression are identical. No one needs to hear, yet again, that Israel isn't always right. That truth is not the crux of our current moment's self-directing Palestinian death march. Palestinian children are desperate for hope. Hope is a choice. Israel can certainly take steps to support this happening, but can't be the inner Palestinian hope.

You want to see how a Palestinian state will be birthed? Don't look to terrorists and murderers. Look at the new Palestinian city of Rawabi (, where the motto is "Live. Work. Grow."


We Will Not Be Wearied: A Prayer to End Gun Violence

We Will Not Be Wearied: A #Prayer to End #GunViolence (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Dear God,
31 and 32,000: 31 killed by guns every day
32,000 every year
God, we have every reason to become numb,
to become used to this blasphemous trend,
to barely even register
that Your Images are being erased
by a fetishized weapon, our national idol.
31 and 32,000
God, we know we must act,
and we know that, in order to act,
we must feel the urgency - Your Urgency.
We must channel Your pain
at the deaths of Your children
and remind our lawmakers to choose life.
We've been too quiet,
mistaking status updates and reactionary prayers
for true repentance for the worship of a weapon.
Our nation has endured
the epidemic of Gun Violence
for far too long.
31 and 32,000
And so, God,
as we feel the beginnings of our own weariness
after two mass shootings within 4 hours
we remember the wisdom of Your Prophet,
who taught that:
"...those who hope in God will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and…

Some Voices [a #poem]

Some Voices
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor some voices
tear the scabs clear off
pierce the heart
speak the words
bring breath back
by taking it away............................
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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