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a personal opinion on California's Prop 34 ("Death Penalty. Initiative Statute")

a personal opinion on California's Prop 34 ("Death Penalty. Initiative Statute")
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

This statement is my personal opinion as a rabbi and not a communal response. 

The death penalty is incompatible with Jewish tradition, based on the Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah's teaching that "a court that sentences one person to death every 70 years is to be considered murderous." This means that ultimate judgment (ie, a death penalty) is not a human obligation, but rather God's. Though Jewish theology is not the only component of my moral decision-making regarding sociiety, it is an essential factor in recognizing that our obligation to achieve justice in this world does not require killing others. Justice should be meted out through a system of incarceration - and rehabilitation, wherever possible.


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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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