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Showing posts from January, 2015

Tree [a #poem]

© Rabbi Menachem Creditor inspired by Jenni Mangel, Dan Schifrin, Susan Berrin, and Sara Bamberger
Expelled from the garden, I became  Noah's ark, Joseph's coffin, Moses' reed basket, willow branches upon which dislocated Jews hung their unsinging harps.
I am a cedar in Lebanon, the doorway to a rebuilt Temple, books burned and kissed, a table for rhythmic banging, the paper record for marginalized roots.
I am the very air itself.

Beshalach: "Turning"

The Whistler (by Rabbi David Paskin)


National Ramah Commission, Inc.        of The Jewish Theological Seminary CAMP RAMAH IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

January 2015 / Shevat 5775
We are thrilled to announce Sarah Shulman as the first Director of the new Camp Ramah in Northern California (Ramah NorCal), scheduled to open within the next two years.

Sarah is a dynamic Jewish community leader with 10 years of innovative program experience, including a strong track record building Ramah in the Rockies. Sarah helped develop their program, train staff, and inspire hundreds of campers during the camp's early years, helping the camp grow from an initial enrollment of 118 campers in 2010 to over 400 campers in 2015.

In her new role, Sarah will help shape our new camp's educational and programmatic vision, build a team, and work with local rabbis and community leaders on enrollment.

Sarah is currently pursuing her degree at the

Three shootings today are buried in the news: A Furious, Brief, Comment

Three shootings today are buried in the news: A Furious, Brief, Comment Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The three shootings today (THREE SHOOTINGS, so far) are buried in the news. A man shot a doctor inside Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, critically wounding the physician, before killing himself. Two people were killed and five others hospitalized after gunmen in a car opened fire on a gathering of more than 100 people in a parking lot in San Antonio. A 5-year-old boy found a relative's gun and shot and killed his 9-month-old baby brother in the head in Elmo, Missouri.

Today. 2015. Want to see a beloved community, folks? Demand the right to life of every vulnerable Image of God in America. This is The New Right to Life movement: the quest for Peace in Our Cities, the search for an end to this carnage.

Get angry. Get really, really angry. Cry your brains out in front of our elected officials. Give to Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. …

"Our Unfinished Society" - A Prayer Recited at the Berkeley City Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, 2015

Our Unfinished Society: A Prayer Recited at the Berkeley City Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, 2015 © Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Dear Lord,
Your servant Dr. Martin Luther King might not have been happy to see us sitting here this morning having this very nice breakfast. He might have led us outside this fine establishment, back into Your fragile world, O God, marching our feet to the rhythmic beat of the deep rumblings of discontent (“Loving Your Enemies”, 1957), back into our streets. And so we pray this very morning to not enjoy so much of the wonderful bounty before us that we forsake the hungry, that we forget our own calamity, just yards away, and miles away, and counties and states away. But really, we know they’re right here in this room. We haven’t set them down, not even for a moment, Lord. We know, as Dr. King taught us, that “our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. King would have called us to know the number of children going hungry in Alameda…

Immeasurable Comfort

Immeasurable Comfort
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
swaying left and right
quiet vibrations
fill this crowded room
with comfort.
they've gathered
in intentional response
to a loss too big for words.
they've also gathered
in accidental response
to the unspoken losses
carried deep within
each wounded heart,
bringing one other
immeasurable comfort
by just showing up.

A statement on Martin Luther King Junior Day

The Jewish commitment to not only recognize but also defend the divine image of every person has long animated Jewish leaders and institutions to engage in the ongoing work of civil rights in America and around the world. Iconic photos of prophetic leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel locate Jewish leaders as active participants in society and serve as a clarion call of the yet unfinished work to ensure the dignity and rights of every citizen. On this day of celebration, Jews reaffirm their obligation to stand in solidarity with the African American community, ready to serve as supportive partners in pursuing our common sacred vision.

A Prayer for the Paris Jewish Community

A Prayer for the Paris Jewish Community
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Oy, God.
It hurts so very much.
Yet again.

We lift up our eyes to the mountains,
to the heavens,
and we ask with pain and fear
and determined, indefatigable hope:
how long, Adonai, how long.

Knowing Your love is abundant,
compels us see this fragile world
all deeply incomplete.

Why must it take so long for us to learn?
How can Your images,
every human being,
do such horrid things,
hating each other,
hurting each other,
killing each other?

Dear God. this hurt we know too well
has taught us to stand strong through our pain.
We will not cease our prayers, and...

...we also know that we are called,
as Your children, to take leaps of action
and to turn our pain into a clarion call:
Never Again.
That is the prayer of our bodies,
writhing in pain as we watch our sisters and brothers,
children of the House of Israel,
trapped, hurt, killed,
In a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Shopping for Shabbat is not meant to be an act of bra…

Life Matters: A Brief Comment

Life Matters: A Brief Comment
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
As we appropriately focus on the shooting massacre in Paris, where at least 12 souls were murdered, it is worthy to point out that the world's attention seems more naturally drawn to 'this kind of' loss of life, and no one needs to use a #FrenchLivesMatter campaign to communicate this tragedy's importance. For those who have rejected the #BlackLivesMatter campaign and called to replace it with an #AllLifeMatters approach, please note that no one in the news is talking about the Tuesday bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado Springs. Yes, all life matters. But some lives seem to matter less in society's eyes. May we change all that by lifting our voices and every life's worth.

After Kiddush Learning this Shabbat at CNS: A Jewish Response to Ebola

After Kiddush Learning this Shabbat (Jan 10, 2015, approx 1pm)
at Congregation Netivot Shalom
A Jewish Response to Ebola
with Andrew Hanauer, Campaigns Director of the Jubilee USA Network
In the face of tragic human suffering in West Africa, what is a Jewish response to Ebola? Learn more about how an interfaith coalition - including prominent national Jewish organizations and a growing number of individual synagogues, including CNS - is tackling the root causes of human crises like Ebola. That coalition, Jubilee USA, moved the White House this fall to call for $100 million in debt relief for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Now the International Monetary Fund is debating how much debt relief to grant while calls grow - from the UN to African organizations - to cancel Ebola debt completely. Meanwhile, a new report was just released detailing just how much these countries are losing each year to tax avoidance and corruption facilitated by a broken international financial system…