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Essays

Parashat Noach: It Will Be Good
The Times of Israel (October 18, 2017)

The Deepest Thing Inside (Yom Kippur 5778/2017)
The Times of Israel (September 30, 2017)

The Day After Charlottesville
The Huffington Post​ (August 14, 2017)

Among the Mourners of Zion
The Huffington Post​ (July 25, 2017)

Tears, Free-Flowing Tears
The Times of Israel (July 23, 2017)

My Souvenir Prophet
The Times of Israel (July 17, 2017)

Attacked from Within
The Huffington Post​ (July 11, 2017)

On Independence: Freedom For
The Huffington Post​ (July 4, 2017)

On the Outside Looking In: Reflections of a Jew Wounded by Israel
The Huffington Post​ (June 27, 2017)

A Very Bad, No-Good, Rotten Day for Zionism
The Huffington Post​ (June 25, 2017)

When it All Comes Together
The Times of Israel (June 20, 2017)

Driving to Shul on Shabbat & Holiness
The Times of Israel (May 11, 2017)

Why is Moses Kept Out of the Tabernacle?
myjewishlearning.com (March 9, 2017)

Joyfully Answering the Call
The Times of Israel (March 1, 2017)

Honor Our Dead. Build on Love.
The Huffington Post​ (Feb. 26 2017)

Now. Tomorrow. And the Day After
The Huffington Post​ (Jan. 12, 2017)

Joyless Justice: The Death Penalty and the Charleston Church Murderer
The Huffington Post​ (Jan. 10, 2017)

Abundant Love: The Wisdom of Jacob
myjewishlearning.com (Jan. 6, 2017)

This We Do Not Bless: Reach Higher, Rabbi Hier
The Times of Israel (Jan. 3, 2017)

Anger in a Pre-Trump American Zionist: A Rabbinic Response to the Obama Administration’s UN Abstention
The Huffington Post​ (Dec. 28, 2016)

We Don't Have the Words (Ki Tavo)
The Times of Israel (Sept. 22, 2016)

This Election: The Difference Between Terence Crutcher and You
The Huffington Post​ (Sept. 21, 2016)

We Must Elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States
The Huffington Post​ (Aug. 25, 2016)

Gold Gestapo Gun is Headed to Auction
The Jewish Daily Forward (August 17, 2016)

Jerusalem Sits Alone: Tisha Be'Av at the Olympics
Times of Israel (Aug. 12, 2016)

A Wounded Friend: A Rabbinic Response to the New Black Lives Matter Platform 
The Huffington Post​ (Aug. 5, 2016)

No Room for Hate in America 
The Huffington Post​ (July 19, 2016)

Channeling the power of Faith to End Gun Violence
with Eileen Soffer
The Jewish Daily Forward (July 18, 2016)

Choose life, says Torah — not guns
with Eileen Soffer
J Weekly (July 14, 2016)

A Note From Camp Ramah, A Heart In Israel
The Huffington Post (July 6, 2016)

The Eyes of Chovav (BeHa'alotecha)
The Times of Israel (May 31, 2016)

How Bend the Arc is Fighting Donald Trump
The Jewish Daily Forward (May 22, 2016)

Our Testimony: A Yom HaShoah Message 
The Times of Israel (May 5, 2016)

These Are Dark Days for America 
The Huffington Post Politics​ (May 3, 2016)

The Way Forward
Sh'ma Journal (April 15, 2016)
download the entire PDF here

offered at the US Capitol Building as part of the Fact Coalition/JubileeUSA Tax and Transparency Days
April 11, 2016

Judaism, Race, and Law (audio)
offered at the SF JCRC Town Hall on "Race and Law" (April 7, 2016)

My Zionism (audio)
offered at the East Bay Hadassah Annual Meeting (April 3, 2016)
The Huffington Post Politics (March 14, 2016)

Open to Wonder: Parashat #Pekudei
Times of Israel (February 29, 2016)

Success at the Kotel Comes at a Cost
Times of Israel (February 2, 2016)

Must it be Armageddon?
Times of Israel (January 7, 2016)

An Intention for Hope in the New Year
Huffington Post Religion (Dec. 29, 2015)

The Threat of Serenity
Huffington Post Religion (Nov. 30, 2015)

Black Lives Matter and the Beauty of Israel: Working on Both With One Soul
Huffington Post Politics (Nov. 25, 2015)

Bound and Blessed (Again) (Toldot)
Times of Israel (November 10, 2015)

The Blessed Burden (Chayei Sarah)
Times of Israel (November 2, 2015)

Silence: A Blessing or a Danger?
with Shalom Bayit Executive Director Naomi Tucker
J Weekly (Oct. 23, 2015)

A Real Response to Israel-Hatred: Love
Huffington Post Politics (Oct. 22, 2015)

Praying for Israel During Troubled Times
Huffington Post Politics (October 14, 2015)

This is Not a Million Man March
Times of Israel (October 12, 2015)

Alone, Together (Yom Kippur 2015)
Times of Israel (September 24, 2015)

Falafel Hebrew, Crackling Tanks, and Burning Coals
Times of Israel (July 13, 2015)

'A girl named Jerusalem: Seeking Asylum in Tel Aviv
Times of Israel (July 7, 2015)

Too Busy Protecting Israel from Delegitimization to Protect Ourselves from Israel's Delegitimization of Us?
Times of Israel (July 5, 2015)

Our Broken Society, My Broken Heart: A Rabbi on a Jury
J Weekly (June 18, 2015)

We Must Rebuild God's House by Saving Each Other's: A Spiritual Response to Charleston
Huffington Post (June 18, 2015)

The Rabbinic Imperative to Confront American Gun Violence
Times of Israel (June 11, 2015)

Becoming Neighbors: A Jewish Vision of Social Justice
Huffington Post (June 8, 2015)

Gun Violence is a Moral Problem
Huffington Post (April 20, 2015)

For Zion's Sake I Will Not Keep Silent 
Huffington Post (March 17, 2015)

Money and Shabbat
Huffington Post (February 25, 2015)

No Rest for the Righteous
Times of Israel (December 8, 2014)
 
After a Rainstorm of Voter Disenfranchisement in 2014, Congress Must Restore the Voting Rights Act
co-authored with Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler
Roll Call (November 20, 2014)

We Cry as Family
Times of Israel (November 18, 2014)

The Uncertain Woods of Faith
Huffington Post (October 26, 2014)

Ferguson is Not Gaza
Huffington Post Politics Blog (October 15, 2014)

Why Rabbi Gil Steinlauf's Coming Out Is Watershed Moment for Jews
The Jewish Daily Forward (October 7, 2014 )

The Burdens of Memory
Times of Israel (October 6, 2014)
 
White Robes and Infinity
Times of Israel (October 2, 2014)

Intense Beginnings
Huffington Post (September 14, 2014)

A Battered People Once Again
Times of Israel (August 27, 2014)

Ferguson and Israel
Huffington Post (August 21, 2014)

Never Again is Right Now
Times of Israel (August 20, 2014)
 
Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace
Times of Israel (August 9, 2014)

My Response to the Terror of Missiles and the Terror of Words
Times of Israel (August 4, 2014)
 
Comfort Our People, Compassion for All God's People
(with Rabbi Michael Adam Latz)
Huffington Post (July 30, 2014)

Do We Stand With Israel?
Huffington Post (July 28, 2014)

The End of Theory
Times of Israel (July 22, 2014)

I'm Done Apologizing for Israel
Huffington Post (July 21, 2014)
(republished by the Jewish Forward July 23, 2014)

The Jewish People Lives
Huffington Post (July 8, 2014)

A Jewish Perspective on Taxes, Poverty
Courier Post (July 3, 2014)

A Jew in the World
Huffington Post, (July 2, 2014)

Army of Angels needed to right tax, poverty woes
The Daily Journal, (June 19, 2014)

On Father' Day, let's End Violence Against Women
The Forward, (June 15, 2014)

”אנחנו הקונסרבטיבים נאבקים למענכם, עמדו גם אתם לצידנו“

 Maariv (June 10, 2014)


Healing Our Abused Jewish Soul
Jerusalem Post (June 2, 2014)

A Rabbi's Heart Beats Again
Huffington Post (May 16, 2014)

Children in the Sanctuary
Huffington Post (May 5, 2014)

Sarah Palin's Heresy
Huffington Post (April 30, 2014)

Expectations, Despair, and Amazement
Huffington Post (April 25, 2014)

Human Boundaries and Inclusion
Huffington Post (April 4, 2014)

The Promise of Redistribution
Huffington Post (March 28, 2014)

Jews and Gun Violence: An Update
Huffington Post (March 14, 2014)

First Kisses, Intimacy, and Eternity
Huffington Post (March 12, 2014)

Wrong on 'Partnership Minyanim'
Letter to the New York Jewish Week (March 5, 2014)

In Search of Concern
Letter to the New York Times (Feb. 23, 2014)

Leadership: Always for and Sometimes Within
Huffington Post (Feb. 7, 2014)

"We Believe" - in Ending Violence Against Women
JWeekly (Feb. 7, 2014)

A Rabbinic Comment on Messianic Politics
Huffington Post (January 22, 2014)

What Does it Mean?
Huffington Post (January 15, 2014)

Shabbat, a Cellphone, and Jewish Concern
Huffington Post (January 7, 2014)

A Rabbinic Riff on Capitalism (inspired by J.K. Rowling)
Huffington Post (December 31, 2013)

A Rabbi's Christmas Thought (for Jewish Parents and Others)
Huffington Post (December 23, 2013)

Channukah & Thanksgiving: It's Complicated
Huffington Post (November 28, 2013)

Progress from Process
Zeek (November 4, 2013)

Dark Wisdom: A Jewish Comment on the Conclusion of Breaking Bad
Huffington Post (September 30, 2013)

Sukkot Holiday Dvar Tzedek: Ushpizin
American Jewish World Service (Sukkot 2013)

Yom Kippur 2013/5774: "Restoring the Arc (of A Love Affair)"
Huffington Post (September 16, 2013)

The Eyes Have It
Huffington Post (September 9, 2013)

All That Matters
Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (September 2013)

What's So High About the High Holidays?
JWeekly (Aug. 29, 2013)

JCPA (Rosh haShannah 2013)
Huffington Post (July 8, 2013)

I am Not Free When My Sister is Silenced

Women of the Wall (July 8, 2013)

Sadly, Conservative Judaism’s lead ship is sinking fast

JWeekly (June 20, 2013)

Eternity Can Wait

Huffington Post (June 19, 2013)

Found: A Jewish Reflection on Lost

Huffington Post (June 10, 2013)

Legacy and Family: A Hadran for Harry Potter
Huffington Post (May 28, 2013)

What is it about Bedtime

Huffington Post (May 20, 2013)

"A Prayer for Direction", "A Prayer for Health", and "A Prayer for Travel"
in Jewish Men Pray (Jewish Lights, 2013, ed. Olitzky and Matlins)

Dynamic Connections: The Theology of 'The Runaway Bunny'

Huffington Post (May 9, 2013)

A Prayer, Upon Completing My Term as CoChair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall 
Women of the Wall (April 28, 2013)

Be Like Busch: An Open Letter to the NRA Membership 
(with Rabbi Aaron Alexander, Rabbi Sharon Brous, & Rabbi Ronit Tsadok)
Huffington Post (April 23, 2013)

A Kavanah Before Eating Fair-Trade Chocolate (Passover)
Fair Trade Judaica (March 2013)

Wandering Toward a Promised Land
Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (Jan.2013)

A Prayer in Wake of a School Shooting

The Rabbinical Assembly (Dec. 14, 2012)

A Kavanah Before Eating Fair-Trade Chocolate (Channukah)

Fair Trade Judaica (Nov. 2012)

A Prayer in the Aftermath of a Devastating Storm

The Rabbinical Assembly (Oct. 31, 2012)



Within our Hearts: The Holy of Holies
Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (March, 2012)

Shmot 2012: "A World Without Children's Voices"

The Daily Rabbi (January 2012)

Yes, An Orthodox Rabbi Can 'Do' a Commitment Ceremony
(with Rabbi Jason Miller)
The Huffington Post (December 16, 2011)

Sermon on the Mount: A Midrash on the Akeidah

Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (August, 2011)

Jews and Others: A Conversation with JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen

JTS Conservative Judaism Blog (August, 2011)

Upon the Death of an Enemy

The Daily Rabbi (May 2, 2011)

Kedoshim: Intense and Holy

The Daily Rabbi (April 2011)

I am Not You: An Exchange of Letters (with Rabbi Stuart Kelman)

Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (January, 2011)

Righteousness, Justice, and Reuben Fulfilled

Truah: Rabbis for Human Rights (December, 2010)

The Choice to Include

JewsByChoice.org (Nov. 16, 2010)

Zionism Also Needs to Come from the Left - Right?

The "J" (Nov. 4, 2010)

Safe Jewish Homes

Conversations: The Journal of The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals
(Issue 8; Autumn 2010/5771; "Orthodoxy and Ethics")

The Narrowing of the Israeli Mindset

The "J" (March 4, 2010)

The Necessity of Windows

a chapter in Torah Queeries (NYU, 2009)

Living in the Dream: An Integrated Life

Walking with Life: The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Summer 2009)

Conservative Judaism and Denominationalism

Gevanim: The Journal of the Academy of Jewish Religion (Vol. 5, Summer 2009)

The Revelation of an Embrace: A Vision of Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism (Vol. 61, Fall/Winter 2008-09)

Creating Spiritual Prayer

CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism (Fall 2008)

Marriage Ruling is About Universal Human Dignity 

The "J" (May 23, 2008)

Toward a Hopeful Judaism

The New York Jewish Week (3/3/07)

In Defense of Jingle Bells

The New York Jewish Week (12/22/06)

God's Loneliness

Jewels of Elul II (Summer 2006)

Sustained Innovation

Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility (June 2006)

Pesach: Excessive Freedom

The UJC Rabbinic Orchard (Spring 2005)

White Robes and Infinity

The UJC Rabbinic Orchard (Fall 2004)

Parashat VaYeira: Seeing the Other (senior sermon)
Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility Blog

Akeidat haMa'achelet / The Binding of the Knife

Living Text: The Journal of Contemporary Midrash (1999, Vol #5)

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To Kneel [a #Poem]

To Kneel 

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

Then There Will Be Enough" - A reflection on this week's #Torah Portion. #toldot #life #wisdom