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Showing posts from July, 2013

Announcing "Ketzev: The Netivot Shalom Youth Chavurah" -- For more information, contact Serena Heaslip at youthed@netivotshalom.org or 510-549-9447, Ext 107!

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Marla Bennett z"l & Ben Blutstein z"l -- 11 years ago today. #Zachor

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Marla Bennett z"l & Ben Blutstein z"l and others were killed and wounded in the bombing at Hebrew University's Frank Sinatra Cafe 11 years ago today. May their memories be a blessing. May hatred cease, comfort flow, and peace rear its head one day soon.

from Molly Shapiro: "Howdy Y'all!"

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CNS Website! Make a Gift to CNS! CNS Online Calendar! CNS Blog! The Amitim Blog! CNS Preschool! Rabbi Creditor's Blog!

CNS is looking for youth service leaders & childcare providers for the High Holidays! If you know of high school or college students coming home for the chagim, please contact Molly at molly@netivotshalom.org! Join Our List

Death is Not Alone

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Death is Not Alone
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Death happens, not always in due season, it's true.
But it is not alone.
Miracles pop into life.
Laughter bubbles during grief.
Sadness clouds happy eyes.

What does this mean?
Death, miracles, laughter, grief, sad, happy.

Ekev #ParshaTweet: If you follow Torah after I die, good. If not, hellfire. So listen! Please? - Sincerely (& urgently), Moshe Rabbeinu

A Pre-Shabbes Note! (It's Good to be Home)

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So emotional. Just got back from Josh Kornbluth's "Sea of Reeds."

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So emotional. Just got back from Josh Kornbluth's "Sea of Reeds," which (in part) depicts Josh's and my shared journey towards his Bar Mitzvah. There is no way I'll be able to express what tonight meant for me. As a person, as a rabbi, as a soul, I feel so incredibly known, so understood. The amazing Amy Resnick did more than portray me. She showed me the me that I pray every day I am. I do know myself. But that internal sense of who I am is hard to imagine anyone could truly know. I can barely breathe with the realization that I'm not alone, that there's more hope. That my work as a rabbi, as a teacher, as a friend, matters. Thank you, Josh. Thank you, Amy.

The Adoption and Jewish Identity Project is looking for stories!

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The Adoption and Jewish Identity Project is looking for stories! Are you, or is someone you know, an adoptee between the ages of 18 and 36 who was raised in a family that identified at least in part as Jewish? In the coming year, we will be gathering stories from young adult adoptees raised in American Jewish families. This effort is part of a research study by the Adoption and Jewish Identity Project (AJIP), which aims to improve the lives of Jewish adoptive families by creating broader understanding of the unique religious, cultural, and identity issues they face. Adoptees will be able to share their experiences and perspectives in a variety of formats. Anyone may submit his/her story either in writing or using other media (audio, video). We will also be conducting 15-20 in-depth interviews with selected individuals, as well as a number of focus groups. The collected stories will be used (either anonymously or for attribution, depending on your wishes) for a book about the complex i…

Oh My Heart

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Oh My Heart
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Oh my heart, full to bursting,
soaking in her eyes, his smile,
hug, hurt.

Oh my soul, captured,
unprepared, surprised by life,
gratitude, pain.

If only it could always be this way,
but then again,
it can't.

Religious Progressives Predicted To Outnumber Conservatives, Survey Finds

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July 22, 2013 katie.bindley@huffingtonpost.com
Religious Progressives Predicted To Outnumber Conservatives, Survey Finds


A new study has found that while the number of religious conservatives is still greater than that of progressives, the religious left may have a better chance of maintaining its foothold with Americans over time.


"If you’re using a generational snapshot today as a proxy for the future, it is is safe to say that religious progressives hold a stronger appeal among Millennials," said Robert Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, which surveyed 2,000 adults in partnership with the Brookings Institute.


While the Christian right makes up 28 percent of the population and garners more cultural attention -- Jones found that there are 27,000 global monthly Google searches for “Christian Right" compared with just over 8,000 searches for “Christian left" -- religious progressives are only 9 percentage points behind, with 19 percent of …

Taught my last class at Camp Ramah New England this summer. Such precious children, such soulful colleagues, such a holy community. The Jewish People is so blessed.

The metaphor of an angry, violent God in exile only feels foreign because we wish it weren't a mirror-image of our own inner lives at times.

Tisha B'Av with Community Learning Schedule 5773

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This coming Monday, July 15th, marks the beginning of the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av), a day when we recall the destruction of both Jerusalem Temples, among other moments of loss in Jewish history.

In addition to destruction of the Temples, tradition has suggested that the following tragedies occurred on Tisha B'av: the negative report of the spies in the desert, the fall of Betar (the last holdout of the Jewish people in the Bar Kochba Revolt), the edict for the Spanish expulsion of Jews, and the beginning of World War I. Historicity is perhaps less important than meaning here. Tisha B'Av is a day of loss. It is, simply said, a very sad day for the Jews.

On Tisha B'Av we refrain from eating, drinking, bathing, intimacy, wearing leather shoes, and learning Torah (except for topics pertaining to the day). This year our community will mark Tisha B'Av in the following ways:

Tonight - Erev Tisha B'Av (Monday, July 15): We will meet in the CNS Library at 8:15 pm for Ma'…

9 b'Av: Mourning in the shadow of construction sites in Jerusalem means a Jew's soul is called to notice & feel the world's pain & then act.

One Rabbi's Thought on White, Black, and Brown in America

One Rabbi's Thought on White, Black, and Brown in America
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Friends, I don't claim to speak with authority on legal cases. But i do know this: I am a proud American who acknowledges that white Americans do not have the same daily experiences as black and brown Americans. Tonight's verdict is a symbolic reinforcement of the feelings of so many black and brown young men (and their families) in our communities. And so, though I don't know if my readers are feeling personally assaulted by tonight's news, I offer the following thought as an American rabbi:

God, always in our world, is writhing in agony at the commonplace disenfranchisement of our children, particularly our young men. Each of us is a precious image of God, worthy of human respect, worthy of dignity. Each of us is called to champion the call of justice, so that no human soul is forgotten.

Our skins might be different shades, but our souls come from the same Source. May God be with us all in our pain and give us the strength to channel our outrage into organizing for healing & justice.

Never enough time to learn, to teach, to realize. So magnificent to give it all we've got anyway. #livingTorah

There is barely any commonality between "Talking About" and actual, meaningful experience. So much is lost when they're conflated.

Judaism's "Version" of Utopia

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Judaism's "Version" of Utopia
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Dara Horn's reframing of Olam haBa as "the world to come will come" (ie, we build the world that will come), means Jews don't worry about Utopia. We believe in human responsibility for this world. (As Reb Huey lewis taught in a berraita: "there ain't no perfect world anyway.")
Though the rabbis call Shabbat a "taste of the world to come," the permeating language of God's Creative Power throughout the "day of rest" awakens the power (and need) within every Image of God to create once the havdalah wicks are ignited.

I am Not Free When my Sister is Silenced

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I am Not Free When my Sister is Silenced
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Today I am a sad Zionist. I am not free when my sister is silenced, when my mother is in exile, when my sister is assaulted.
Today women were cordoned off from their People, not even allowed to approach our Wall. The prayers of every Jew are null and void today. No voice counts unless all voices are heard.
Today God cries. It's the month of Menachem Av, a month of sadness. The Talmud tells that God coos like a dove amidst the ruins of Jerusalem, saying, "Oy to my children, who caused their own exile from My home." Today God wails with that two-thousand-year-old cry again.
Oy for our children, who deny the prayers of their mothers.
Oy for our sisters, who throw eggs at their sisters.
Oy for our People, who writhe with anger at difference.
Oy for our spirit, placed in exile by the Police in the Jewish Homeland.
Oy for God, who still cries because our sins.

I am Not Free When my Sister is Silenced

I am Not Free When my Sister is Silenced
© Rabbi Menachem CreditorToday I am a sad Zionist. I am not free when my sister is silenced, when my mother is in exile, when my sister is assaulted. Today women were cordoned off from their People, not even allowed to approach our Wall. The prayers of every Jew are null and void today. No voice counts unless all voices are heard.Today God cries. It's the month of Menachem Av, a month of sadness. The Talmud tells that God coos like a dove amidst the ruins of Jerusalem, saying, "Oy to my children, who caused their own exile from My home." Today God cries that two-thousand-year-old cry again.Oy for our children, who deny the prayers of their mothers.
Oy for our sisters, who throw eggs at their sisters.
Oy for our People, who writhe with anger at difference.
Oy for our spirit, placed in exile by the Police in the Jewish Homeland.
Oy for God, who still cries from our sins.

Clouds pass overhead / the sky holds so much aloft / such a blessed day. #nature #haiku #radicalamazement

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#Devarim #ParshaTweet: If you choose your words carefully (& heed them), even a desert can be a honeymoon. #everywordcounts

Ynet News: Cabinet Adopts Haredi Draft Bill

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13:36 , 07.07.13
  PrintHaredi DraftYair LapidPhoto: Ohad Zwigenbergclick here to enlarge text Cabinet Adopts Haredi Draft Bill

Despite some inside criticism, ministers approve outline for haredi enlistment, to be put in action in four years; Lapid: Historic day; MK Porush: Black day for Jewish settlement
Omri Efraim

The cabinet adopted the equal share of the burden outline, according to which 21-year-old haredim will be drafted to the IDF, beginning in 2017, excluding 1,800 who have proven themselves scholarly-gifted and will continue to study the Torah.


Fourteen ministers voted in favor of the outline, while only four opposed it.

The outline, finalized last May by a committee headed by Minister Yaakov Peri, also recommends that haredi draft-evaders will be criminally sanctioned. The bill will be presented later for a Knesset vote.

Related stories:

AG: Haredi draft deferment to age 21 unjustIDF: Harassment of haredi soldiers like Der SturmerYeshiva students join IDF as paramedics
Prime Mini…