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Showing posts from March, 2008

Purim 5768: Moderate Excess

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Happy Adar! Light-heartedness, fun, and friendship are in the air. It is nice to stop taking ourselves too seriously and just enjoy ourselves.

A wonderful explanation of Purim by Lois Goldrich can be found here and is pasted below for quick reference. A powerful new tradition, brought to my attention by friend and teacher Marcia Brooks, for drowning out Haman's and Zeresh's names is to bring to shul boxes of pasta to use as graggers, shaking them for noise, and donating them once the Megillah is completed.

One of the customs of Purim, deeply connected to the sense of joy and relief of the Megillah's message of Jewish survival in the world, is to drink. The recent trends of childhood alcoholism in our world, documented at length by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (and found here), lead me to reflect on how we conduct ourselves as adults, and in front of our children. I enjoyed the etrog schnapps on Simchat Torah, and belie…

Links for "Living a Mythic Life 2: Mythic Places"

Shalom Chevreh,

Here are the links I mentioned in our discussion today, "Mythic Places", the second part of our Living a Mythic Life series at Netivot Shalom.

Axis Mundi (Wikipedia)
Devir to Davar: A Portable Sanctuary(Ismar Schorsch)
The Jewish Connection to Jerusalem (
Rabbi Ed Snitkoff)

Kol Tuv, and Looking forward to learning Torah together again!

Rabbi Creditor

What Does it Mean?

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

in memory of Scott Silberman, z"l

In Dara Horn's work of spiritual fiction "The World to Come", she portrays Marc Chagall and the enigmatic Yiddish poet Der Nister (The Hidden One) as teachers at a Ukranian school for Jewish orphans. Der Nister sees a blue painting Chagall has just completed and asks "What does it mean?" Chagall's response is mystifying: "It means blue."

When texts, headlines, and faces are searched for deeper layers of significance; when disease and tragedy are "explained" by survivors and those who would be comfortors; when we, in our helplessness as observers, try to fill up the void that inevitably follows loss - that is when we forget that sometimes meaning is exactly what we feel: blue.

There aren't always redemptive answers. How can we possibly explain the death of eight Yeshiva students in Jerusalem, gunned down just today in their learning? The death of a young person? The death of…