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Showing posts from June, 2008

Husbands, Brothers and Sons

Husbands, Brothers and Sons
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

On May 18, 2003, Smadar Haran Kaiser wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled "The World Should Know What He Did to My Family."  The 'he' was Samir Kuntar, a terrorist who attacked an Israeli family in 1979, murdering a 28 year-old man, his two daughters ages four and two, and an Israeli policeman.  Smadar, the only survivor of the murder of her husband and daughters, wrote 24 years later:

"One hears the terrorists and their excusers say that they are driven to kill out of desperation. But there is always a choice. Even when you have suffered, you can choose whether to kill and ruin another's life, or whether to go on and rebuild."

It is Smadar's words that ring loudest today.  Today, June 29, 2008, Israel agreed to a deal in which Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, the two Israel Defense Forces reservists kidnapped by Hezbollah two years ago in an act that sparked the Second Lebanon War, are to b…

BeHa’alotecha 5768: “The Wisdom of Chovav”

BeHa'alotecha 5768: "The Wisdom of Chovav"
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Guiding well is complicated.  Sometimes the best guides share their wisdom, and sometimes they provide space for trial and error on the path towards understanding.  Which pedagogy do we seekers desire?  And what kind of impact does a teacher's choice have on our abilities to successfully traverse personal journeys?

As Moses and the Israelites are preparing to emerge from the base of Mount Sinai, we read of Moses approaching his father-in-law Chovav:

"[Moses approached Chovav] saying 'We are journeying unto the place of which Adonai said: 'I will give it you.' Come with us, and we will be good to you, for Adonai has spoken well concerning Israel.'  Chovav responded 'I will not go.  I will return to my own land, to my birthplace.'  Moses said: 'Please don't leave us! You know how we are to encamp in the wilderness.  Be our eyes! (Num. 10:29-31)'

Many questions arise…

Social Action Alert! Kosher Meat and Social Justice

Social Action Alert!  Kosher Meat and Social Justice

Shalom Chevreh,

The recent Agriprocessors Kosher Meat scandal and the responses from within the Conservative Movement and the Modern Orthodox world are important to spread and act upon.  I'm including an email from the (Orthodox) Uri L'Tzedek effort below, and here are the links to the (Conservative) Hechsher Tzedek efforts:

I encourage us all to read through the informative e-mail from Uri L'tzedek below, check out the links to Hechsher Tzedek, read some articles about the situation at Agriprocessors and the response, and consider taking action by signing the on-line petition, telling others, helping to identify other sources of truly kosher meat.  Kosher certification must embody noble interpersonal practice.  Anything less is simply not enough.  Anything less is not Kosher.

Living a life full of Middot…