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Showing posts from June, 2015

This Bench [a #poem]

This Bench [a #poem]
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor A soldier who looked like me
walks by the bench
where I sit drinking my morning coffee. The bench is surrounded
by Jewish dumpsters
and Jewish buses,
Jewish flowers. The bench has a small sign
affixed to it. The sign reads:'In memory of our dear mother
Hannah Hutrer, 1909 - 2004
Survivor of the Shoah.'I sit on a survivor's bench
surrounded by Jewish flowers.


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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Learning About Justice [a #poem]

Learning About Justice
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Learning about justice  takes time away  from doing justice. 
But. 
If it strengthens one enough to see it,  to ache for it,  to do it,  then it only gives. 
The agitation of sitting when a fire needs  to be put out (or lit) in the world is God stirring.

'One Year Later' (or 'Looking Forward to Having Less to Write') #poem

One Year Later
(or 'Looking Forward to Having Less to Write')
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

I sit in Jerusalem,
One Year Later.
One year after
bombs, sirens, shelters
the sky feels free of weaponry
faces seem clear of stress.

Yes, sky and faces know better,
but, in this moment,
even the sun feels happier.

Rebuilding Your Home: A Prayer for Charleston

Rebuilding Your Home: A Prayer for Charleston (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Dear God,
A church was built  by former slaves who would have revolted hundreds of years ago today,[1] their liberation thwarted by those with power.
Today bullets tore through Your House, Your Images, ravaging the nobility  of lives reclaimed.
Violence is not Your Way, Dear God.
And one of Your Servants,
nine of Your Images
are needlessly gone.
In anguish, we protest in Your Holy Name, remembering the command to choose life is not a given in Your broken world but rather a demand upon us all.
Today we cry again for "Mother Emanuel," [2] (Mother-God-is-with-Us), one of Your many homes in Charleston.
Tonight we sing louder than weapons: Those who sow in tears, will reap, will reap in joy.[3]
God, give us the endurance to end the insanity ripping through thousands of bodies and millions of souls.
May we merit to see You  in each other's eyes and sanctify Your Name by standing together by rising up ag…

A Rabbi on a Jury

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A Rabbi on a Jury

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I was part of a jury that today convicted a man of attempted murder and three other related offenses. We found him guilty on all four counts and took away his liberty. The sentence will be be determined at a later date.
This man did terrible things. I believe the guilty verdict is the right one. I believe that the attorneys and police involved in this case did the right things and did them appropriately. I believe evidence was the basis for this difficult decision. I believe the judge was a responsible and sensitive steward of the justice system, educating us, instructing us, guiding us. This was a very serious criminal trial, and it was conducted with respect for the defendant and for all the involved parties. No person was detained in secret, and our trial system worked well.
What follows will not be an analysis of the criminal justice system, nor a set of recommendations. This short piece of writing will serve as a record of one rabbi&#…

The System is Broken and is Breaking People: A Rabbinic Response to #McKinney

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The System is Broken and is Breaking People: A Rabbinic Response to #McKinney 
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Horrifying. If you see no problem with Police conduct at the #McKinney pool party, you've chosen to ignore a real and urgent problem.

There is a systemic disregard for the human dignity of black people, this being only one of many cases. I do not lack respect for the police, nor the law, but the system is broken and is breaking people as a result.It's time for more compassion, less judgment, and an awareness that the system is pushing us all to play roles we don't wish upon each other or for ourselves.

We do not disagree that Police deserve respect, that laws should be obeyed, and that the public peace matters. But: to ignore the Police's response that led to intense escalation and personal violations is to choose to ignore those things.

If all lives truly matter, then the ones who are most vulnerable deserve at least as much sympathy.

#BlackLivesMatter

"Becoming Neighbors" - A Dvar Tzedek for the June 2015 AJWS Board Meeting

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"Becoming Neighbors" - A Dvar Tzedek for the June 2015 AJWS Board Meeting (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Dearest Friends,

[I share these words with you from a distance, as the Jewish obligation to seek the welfare of one’s fellow citizens, coupled with the American civic duty to serve on a jury of one’s peers (as I am called to do this week), compel my absence from our meeting. I am grateful to AJWS Board Chair Kathleen Levin for sharing my words with her voice.]

As we continue our journey as a Jewish organization fighting to end poverty and promote human dignity around the world, every moment is urgent. As the great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously taught, there is simply “no time for neutrality.” Every act is needed. Every gift, every word, every choice has the potential to save a life.

AJWS models this lesson well as a participant on the ground in many vulnerable parts of the world, where disasters and injustice collaborate to threaten not only the dignity but also the very …

Be Someone's Hero! Join us in the important mitzvah of donating blood, July 16, 12-6pm

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Be Someone's Hero! Join us in the important mitzvah of donating blood on Thursday, July 16, from 12-6pm, in the Netivot Shalom social hall.

We are happy to co-sponsor this blood drive with our neighbors at The Way Christian Center, as part of Red Cross Interfaith Month.
There are 2 ways to help:
1. Donate blood: Sign up to donate blood at   redcrossblood.org (use code CNS) or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments will be honored first, so we encourage you to sign up ahead of time. For anonymous eligibility questions, please call 1-866-236-3276.
2. Volunteer: We would also very much appreciate volunteers to help us set up, greet, and manage the canteen - sign up at http://tinyurl.com/CNSWAYblooddrive.
We recognize that the Red Cross currently has a discriminatory policy that categorically bans gay men from donating blood, and we disagree with this policy. We participate in this blood drive because the current need is great, but we do so with the hope that one da…

I Believe [a #WearingOrange #poem]

I Believe [a #WearingOrange #poem]
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
in honor of the first annual Gun Violence Awareness Day #wearingorange I believe in
a world without
bulletproof backpacks. I believe in
a world where
children can sleep unafraid. I believe in
responsible citizens
and responsible government. I believe
we can and must call out
fear-mongers and weapon-profiteers
who pervert the noble spirit of our country. I believe
God calls us to the holy work
of raising up every Divine Image,
every human life. I believe
these overflowing tears
won't be our last.
... but I also believe
they should be.