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Showing posts from April, 2013

A New Melody for two words: "Mah Ekra" (Isaiah 40:6)

The NRA doesn't care. [...Yet]

The NRA doesn't care. [...Yet]
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A friend wrote: 
"The NRA doesn't care. It exists only to represent its member businesses' economic interests. In that sense the NRA too is like a corporation; it is an amoral entity dedicated only to increasing profits. How else can you explain their extreme positions on issues like assault weapons and cop killer bullets?" My response: 
"I don't disagree. NRA members, many of whom are also disappointed with the Senate's cowardice, are not being represented well. And if those NRA members become aware - and vocal - regarding this abuse of their good names, the NRA will lose some of its political clout, becoming even more transparent as a Lobbying front for Gun-Runners. Here's a link to a piece I wrote on this:

Our Laws Define Our Values

Upcoming Adult Jewish Learning Opportunities!

Scholar-in-Residence: Marsha Bryan Edelman, May 3-4Well-known scholar of Jewish music Marsha Bryan Edelman will be performing and teaching as Scholar-in-Residence at Netivot Shalom during Shabbat, May 3-4.  Erev Shabbat, May 3: Please join us for Shabbat dinner, discussion, and singing! Following dinner, Dr. Edelman will perform with a choir organized from the Netivot Shalom community. Cost for dinner is $12/adult and $5/child. RSVP to and either pay online at and use the "Make a Donation" tab and enter "Marsha Edelman dinner" in the description field; or send a check to Congregation Netivot Shalom and write "Marsha Edelman dinner" on the memo line. Shabbat, May 4: Dr. Edelman will deliver the drash, lead us in a special musical musaf, and present the after-Birkat haMazon learning! The after-Birkat program (following the Kiddush) will include a teaching and a performance, again with the Netivot-form…

"Scars on the Wall" or "Achnai's Return"

"Scars on the Wall" or "Achnai's Return"
A Comment on Talmud Bavli Bava Metzia 59a & 59b
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
There are scars on the wall where the Great Ones once stood,
where proof of their argument is clear.
Their shouting, now echoes, a pulse in the wood,
that's bent now, weighed down by the years.
My hand runs across the great beams of the roof,
each nick, notch, and wet patch of moss,
suggesting there's more to the story that's waiting,
perhaps we can gain what's been lost.
What really happened? Did trees really move?  Did truth lose the vote way back when?
What did God really say before they sent God away?
And can we try over again?

Shabbat Announcements from Congregation Netivot Shalom

Shabbat Shalom!Shabbat EmorAufruf of Sharon Dahl & Guy HowardApril 27, 2013 / 17 Iyyar 5773Click Here to view the Complete Shabbat Announcements! Shabbat Service Schedule Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Rabbi of Congregation Netivot ShalomPsukei D'ZimraLarry HanoverShacharitRuth WeisbergTorah ServiceDavid GillCalling GabbaiNorm RosenblattPointing GabbaiArt BraufmanTorah Reading: Emor, Leviticus 23:23-24:23 (pg. 727)Rishon 23:23-25

A Real Letter to an NRA Training Counselor

A Real Letter to an NRA Training Counselor Rabbi Menachem Creditor
[NOTE: I've received a number of emails regarding the Gun Violence work in which I'm engaged as an Faith Leader in America. Just this morning, a Jewish NRA Training Counselor who has helped transform young people's lives through gun education and, in some cases, military leadership. He wrote to me with passion and respect, and I am inspired by and grateful to him. Below is the response I sent him directly. -rmc]
Dear xxxx,
I'm so appreciative that you emailed me your response. I write as the proud brother of a U.S. Navy Chaplain. She might not carry a weapon, but she fights in defense of our citizens and on behalf of what's right in the world. I cannot express how deeply I support your work, and the incredible empowerment and justice I sense in the way you describe the discipline and education and moral character building instilled by your Firearm Use and Safety Courses. I support you and am inspired. 

After Birkat HaMazon Learning this Shabbat: "Martin Buber & the Place of the Past"

After Birkat HaMazon Learning this Shabbat: "Martin Buber & the Place of the Past" with Rabbi Menachem, Creditor

Shabbat Emor, April 25, approx. 1:30 Congregation Netivot Shalom -
We close the Torah service with the Hebrew phrase "Chadeish Yameinu KeKedem / Return our days as of old." Which "days of old" do we mean? And do we really mean it? What role does the past play when Jews dream of the future? Come examine selections from the writings of Martin Buber and explore what he called "ever-recurring renunciation"!

A Prayer, Upon Concluding my Term as co-chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall

A Prayer, Upon Concluding my Term as co-chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

in honor of my hero, Rabbi Yonina Creditor

Dear Friends,

My hope is renewed at the possibility of Jewish Pluralism in Israel given the amazing moment we marked today, as a Jerusalem District court upheld a ruling that five women who had been detained at the Western Wall for wearing prayer shawls traditionally used by men and singing were not disturbing the public order. (The police had challenged a ruling last Thursday by a magistrates' court upon the detentions.)

Rabbis for Women of the Wall launched in October of 2010, with rabbinic leadership representing all streams of Judaism, and recent statements by Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld make it clear that Modern Orthodoxy's support for Jewish Pluralism in Israel is growing. 

Thanks to the leadership of my cochair Rabbi Pam Frydman and incoming cochair Rabbi David Kalb, I know the path forward will be led by resonant …

Rabbi Gary Creditor: "I Have Several Questions" - Sermon for April 24, 2013

I Have Several QuestionsRabbi Gary S. CreditorRichmond, VirginiaApril 26th, 2013[This sermon is written in response to the actions or lack thereof in the United States Senate. It is delayed a week because of the tragic events in Boston and the priority of responding to those moments.]I Have Several Questions:1.I would like to ask the NRA just one question: "What is your proposal to reduce gun violence in America?"I could ask them many questions, but this one is the most important. I don't need to search for statistics. I don't need to study the Second Amendment. I don't care who is a liberal and who is a strict constructionist.But this I do know: that every day I open the Richmond Times-Dispatch, every single day, there is another report of violence with a gun.It doesn't matter if some one is killed (oh yes it does!).It doesn't matter if they are wounded (oh yes it does!).It doesn't matter if children and elders are frightened out of th…

Webcast: The Big Gifts of Conservative Judaism

sponsored by Temple Beth Abraham in Canton, MA and Rabbi David Paskin!

The Gifts of Conservative Judaism: An Online Class with Rabbi Creditor - Tomorrow (Apr. 24, 9am PST)

The Gifts of Conservative Judaism: A Live Online Class Tomorrow 
(Apr. 24, 9am PST)
with Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Don't miss this conversation about the unique gifts that Conservative Judaism has offered the Jewish People! Tune in at

This session is a part of a 5-part series at Temple Beth Abraham in Canton, MA on Jewish Identity. Learn more about Temple Beth Abraham at

JCPA: Our Work on Guns is Just Beginning

Our Work on Guns is Just Beginning - CLICK HERE
Last week, a bipartisan bill to require background checks for gun purchasers fell just 4 votes short of the 60 needed to pass. But we remain resolved to pass comprehensive gun laws that will make us all safer while respecting the 2nd Amendment. Click here to reach out to your Senators.

Less than half of the Senate voting against a policy favored by 90% of the country is where our work begins. We have a national need and a national will that cannot be stymied by an uncompromising few. We are in the beginning of the campaign for the comprehensive overhauls needed to make our country safer by ensuring access to quality mental health care, examining the role of violence in our media, banning military style weapons and ammunition, and keeping them out of the wrong hands. 

Thanks to this vote, we now know the minds that need to be changed. Now is the time to make sure that those Senators who voted no hear the voices of their constituents and act …

God Asks for Wonder

God Asks for Wonder
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor in friendship with Terry Damm
Why? we ask. Why? Why? Why?
Sometimes we sense graceful hints, caught, held, carried, breeze, wind, spirit.
But other scents invade those modes and make us forget  just how graced life can be.
We are asked: Why? Why? Why?
God wonders if we've received  the message.
Love. Wonder. Hope.

------------------------------------------ Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom
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