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Showing posts from July, 2016

Our Blood is the Same - Be part of the Interfaith Blood Drive! July 21

Our Blood is the Same
We'd like to echo the beautiful message that Pastor Tanisha Walton, from The Way Christian Center, shared with us on Shabbat morning at shul:  "We are in the midst of troubling times in our country and in the world. What better response is there than to unite together as people from different faiths and backgrounds? And beyond this, to donate blood together - after all, underneath this skin, we are all the same. Please join us.Join us in the important mitzvah of donating blood on Thursday, July 21, from 12-6pm, in the Netivot Shalom social hall. We are happy to co-sponsor this blood drive with our friends at The Way Christian Center and Pacifica Institute as part of Red Cross Interfaith Month.

No Room for Hatred in America

No Room for Hatred in America
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

There will come a moment for reconciliation, but this is a moment for harsh clarity. Harsh clarity, and action.

Pastor Mark Burns gave the benediction at the #RNC tonight. There was no room for a Jew in his America, no room for a Muslim in his America, no room for an Atheist in his America. Perhaps there isn't even room for many Christians in his America. There is, in fact, No America in his America.

Melania Trump spoke at the RNC today. She outright stole Michelle Obama's speech about her husband from 8 years ago. Furthermore, as Shaun King put it so well: "What's wild is that this came on the same night where Republican Congressman Steve King said he couldn't think of any great parts of civilization created by people of color. Here we have a white woman stealing something great from a Black woman." This is worse than irony. This is theft.

There is endorsed homophobia within the GOP Platform at the RNC, an…

Committed to Home: Reflections from Israel: 5 Years, 2 Years, and 1 Year Ago Today - And Today

Committed to Home: Reflections from Israel: 5 Years, 2 Years, and 1 Year Ago Today - And Today
© Rabbi Menachem CreditorI. Five Years Agojust entered yad vashem's valley of the communities, saw my ancestral community (moldova) listed, and I'm lost.  where/when is here?staring at a boxcar with suddenly, intentionally stopped tracks that today point to (and, oy, would that they had led to) the forests of jerusalem.  no words... my heart is devastated once again.a grandson, a dear soul, spoke of his grandparents' legacy as partizans from vilna.  when we recited the el maleh (prayer for memory), we added the words "those who fought" to the passive "those who were murdered." moved, afraid, and pulled by the commitment to act, and what must continue to mean for Jews today.the irony (and tactile education) at yad vashem of being forced to wait in lines to watch footage of jews waiting in drastically different kinds of lines as I pass guided tours in hebrew, e…

Red Flow #poem

Red Flow
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor Sacred Blue and Bloody Red,
Divine flow captured
in earthly art.
But today,
Heaven feels so very far away,
so very far. Again. So far. Our determination to save lives
so beset, so often.
Red over Blue. Nice, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minneapolis, Oakland, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Orlando, Chicago,
black, white, Arab, Jew, American, Muslim, Gay, Straight... Has Heaven always been so far? Has it always been this way? How can we talk, breathe, dream, parent... live when the world is in such pain? How do we endure? Where is God today? Might and Mercy,
Compassion and Judgment,
Splendor, and Foundation...
aspects, masks of the Divine,
tensions of a cosmic system,
manifest in this dimension... Red and blue. Red. Red. Maybe it's always been this way...
Maybe it used to be more hidden,
The madness of God's universe,
Divine images erasing each other
red, red, red... Once upon a time,
this secret knowledge was
reserved for the few,
the burden of …

Jerusalem at 6am #poem

Jerusalem at 6am
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor I. The Cyclist of King David St. Thinning, cropped hair,
dark skin over Eastern European features,
he passes me by,
rolling downhill,
inscrutable expression on his face. Is it my tallis and tefillin bag? My American sandals? Perhaps it's that he noticed me noticing him. Maybe he's just a man enjoying his morning ride, and being in Israel fills my eyes with Jewish meaning. II. Davening in a Secret Garden Purple.
Definitely not pink.
Glowing, growing all around. Strings from my tallis
dangle and sway,
suspended over newly-placed
Jerusalem stone. I choose to daven
just yards from the Old City.
It's more colorful here. III. Almost Home
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor Almost there, I tell myself.
Just over that next hill,
and I'll be home,
safe and sound. Walking is good, I tell myself.
Wandering is exploring,
the chance to take in new surroundings,
learn, adapt, and respond. I'm so busy convincing myself the …

A Note from Camp Ramah, a Heart in Israel

from Rabbi Creditor: A Note from Camp Ramah, a Heart in Israel
July 1, 2016 | 25 Sivan, 5766 Dear Chevreh, 
I stand on the beach, surrounded by children and staff of Camp Ramah. We all sway tothe rhythm of our singing and the ocean waves, just yards away. The havdallah candles placed in the sand reflect the joy in our eyes, the smell of the spices mix with the sweet smell of the ocean... I have spent the last two weeks in heaven, as part of our brand new Camp Ramah in Northern California. We have created nothing short of a miracle here. Outdoor adventures, ocean explorations, and performing arts, each track of this new camp meeting each child right where they are, lifting their souls ever higher.
I've been part of Ramah for the last 27 years. The traditions of this transformational camping movement, born from the vision of Conservative/Masorti Judaism,  are in my blood. And so, this summer I brought deep Seven Rabbis celebrate Ramah NorCal expectations -  and my own children - to Ra…