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Next Steps

Next Steps

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

A precious student just asked for guidance about taking their next steps. I shared a version of this with them, and thought it might serve others well, as we contemplate our own next steps:
As you consider your next steps as a leader, as a citizen, as a daughter, as a grandfather, as an organizer, as a rabbi, as a friend, as a citizen, do you think you need to live up to an externalized expectation in order to be your best self?
Or can we do the work of tzimtzum (sacred self-moderation), be humble enough to non-judgmentally encounter wisdom that will surround you wherever you are?
Will we be willing (a la Thick Naht Hahn) to be wrong when in conversation, truly being in listening dialog ('shmi'at ha'ozen' in Pirkei Avot) with texts, ideas, and our fellow person?
In short, can you allow yourself the hard work of inner growth? You are a unique emanation of God, and that is enough. You are enough. And so is every other person you'll meet. You are loved, and so are they. Can you learn to love being "your right size," which means that your truths will not be experienced as arrogance? That's a dance few get right, but, as that great wisdom teacher Mr. Rogers z"l once taught, "There's only one you in this wonderful world. You are special."
I offer these questions, these reflections, with full faith in the Love we are and can unleash together.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbi, Congregation Netivot Shalom
Chair, Rabbis Against Gun Violence (#RAGV)

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To Kneel [a #Poem]

To Kneel 

(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