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A Pre-Shabbat note: Dignity, Unity, and Pride

A Pre-Shabbat note: Dignity, Unity, and Pride
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Friends, I'm working on a follow-up piece to "I'm Done Apologizing for Israel," incorporating some of the language and reactions. I've made the decision to not link the articles/blogposts being written at me (barely any are actually about what i actually write in my article), so as not to give voice or exposure to the hatred. I'd much rather amplify the pride the Jewish world should take in our commitment to retain our humanity and act with restraint despite this terror onslaught and PR war.

When the carnage is smoldering in the rear-view mirror, as it hopefully will be soon, we'll have to do some personal/communal accounting about what we've learned, who we mean to be as a people, how we lead ourselves forward, the language we allow our leaders to use when speaking about Palestinians, and more. That work is an always-task, including now, which is why I'm so amazed at the Israeli Press' dynamism, even in the midst of war.

The focus of Diaspora Jews in this moment must be on the immediate, on countering the horrible lies, and acknowledging (as I myself witnessed yesterday from the mouths of other speakers on KQED Forum) that for Hamas, the "occupation" they are looking to end is 1948, the State of Israel itself. We have much work ahead, but if we can take a small teaching from this week's Torah Portion: The Israelites continued their journey "B'Yad Ramah", with “a raised hand,” which I understand to mean that they emerged from terrible tribulation with their pride intact, with unity, and with human dignity.

May it be so today.


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To Kneel [a #Poem]

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(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
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