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Parashat Noach: “It will be good”

Parashat Noach: “It will be good”© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Imagine standing on the ramp to the ark.  It’s not raining yet, but you know it will.  You haven’t joined your family and the animals inside, but you know you must.  How does it feel?
“Noach was six hundred years old when the Flood came, waters upon the earth.  Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. (Gen. 7:6-7)” 
Of course they went into the ark “because of the waters of the flood.”  Why else would they?  What would cause a person to step forward into a new and terrifying place, embark on a journey with no guarantees? 
Rashi suggests that Noach and his family didn’t enter the ark until the water reached their ankles.  Would you have entered earlier? Or would you have waited until the very last moment before saying good bye to what was?
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I remember moving into my home: empty of furniture, full of potential. 
As soon as I walked in I became i…

Our Jewish Community Stands Ready to Help: Donate Now to the North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund

CNS Website |  Make a Gift to CNS!  | CNS Online Calendar Our Jewish Community Stands Ready to Help: Donate Now to the North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund
Dear Chevreh,
I have no words. None. The loss of life and property, of threats to lives and schools and homes, the J Weekly just reported:
"Much of URJ Camp Newman's summer campsite in Santa Rosa has been destroyed by the catastrophic wildfires that have been whipping through Sonoma and Napa counties since late last night. At 4:45 p.m. today, it was announced on the camp's Facebook page that, "it is with tremendous shock and sadness that we share that the majority of the buildings at our beloved Camp Newman home have been destroyed.""
Families have their homes, and Camp Newman has been one of our family's precious homes. Once we learn more, we will be part of the rebuilding. Please read below an email from Rabbi Jim Brandt and Danny Grossman, the CEO's of the East Bay and San Francisco Jewish Federat…

Yom Kippur 5778/2017: “The Deepest Thing Inside”

Yom Kippur 5778/2017: “The Deepest Thing Inside” © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I. Where to Begin
This holy night. This amazing, swaying, chanting, weeping, hoping, not-breathing, intense night.
This year. This big, wondering, worrisome, full-of-potential, awe-inducing, blessed-fraught, year.
Where to begin on this holiest night of the year?
Should we focus on the big picture: our precious, fragile world? Should we focus on our homeland Israel: glorious and broken in countless ways? Should we focus on our home here in America: beset by societal chaos and selfishness? Should we focus, instead, on our own synagogue community as we, together, enter a year of transition?
How can we be a part of any of the necessary healing if we try to do it all? As the Talmud teaches, “Tafasta Merubah, Lo Tafasta – If you try to grasp it all, you grasp nothing. (TB Yoma 80a)”
But how dare we choose one urgent focus at the expense of all the others? As Pirkei Avot teaches, “Lecheshe’efaneh, eshne, shema lo tipaneh – …

Crying for Moses: Preparing for Yom Kippur. And Life.

Selichot Prayer

Selichot Prayer
© Rabbi Menachem CreditorI stand before You, open-hearted and open-souled. You've seen my year, held me every step of this path. I stand before You.I weep before You, revealed and breathless. You've been watching me learn, one lesson at a time. I weep tears of gratitude before You.I sing before You, chest pounding the rhythm of every prayer inside me. Your quiet intensity permeates my very being. I sing before You.I ask. I thank. I admit. I feel. I hope. I wonder. I cry. I sing. I breathe.You. You. You. You. You. You. You.#selichot #prayer

Things, Revealed and Hidden: Nitzavim

May We Know Each Other: A 9/11 Prayer

May We Know Each Other: A 9/11 Prayer
© Rabbi Menachem CreditorAs a New Yorker on that day, alongside countless others in the face of horror, I remember the kindness that pervaded everyone's beings. We knew each other that day, through the pain. That kindness that poured from so many no-longer-strangers...May we share it again with no prompt in the name of those we lost - and what we, as a world, lost that day. Blessings of love and healing to the whole world today.May we know each other.Amen.#september11#remember#BuildOnLove

An Intention for Shabbat Ki Tavo

An Intention for Shabbat Ki Tavo
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

"Ki Tavo" (literally "when you arrive"), points to that moment when you finally enter the domain of Promise. After 40 years along your own meandering, wandering route, full of the painful and revelatory kind of experiences that typify truly transformative growth journeys, you arrive.

What then? What next?

The bounty of blessing you've ached for is now - finally - offered. How do you receive it? Greedily claiming it as your own? Or might you learn to experience blessing as a gift from beyond the self, calling for more gratitude than anything else?

May this Shabbat be one in which you choose to experience abundance of blessing.

https://youtu.be/axpDQDamDM8

Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help

From Rabbi Creditor Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help