Dec 26, 2017

An Intention for Hope in the New Year

An Intention for Hope in the New Year
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Hope. In the darkest moments it is still there. We've faced more than enough hardship to understand if it had evaporated. But it hasn't. Hope is a sustainable and renewable source of energy. The real question is each of us remembering to access hope, to nurture it, to channel gratitude for existence itself to fuel the internal and personal commitment to life, which is itself a resurgence of hope for life beyond the self.

'It is not good for a person to be alone,' after all. We are wired to connect. Therefore, hope within one holds the potential hope for at least two.

A note about the furious pace of history:

Time has always been on the march; we just learn more about each second more immediately than before. (Imagine how unsettling a live-tweet of the events of the 20th century might have felt.) 'The world is too much with us' is not a new sentiment, and the 'anatomy of hope' is similarly established.

The urgency of every screaming headline shared on social media might actually be testimony to the intense, primal yearning for interconnectivity we humans contain. This erupting humanity, amplified by technology, is a staggering experience, to be sure. We are calling to each other across every great expanse, and the good news is: we are here for each other. And, if all this is true, the hope each of us renews might truly transform the world.

May the works of our hands and the meditations of our hearts extend light to the darkest corners of each other's hearts.

May hope increase in the year to come, because we recognized our own inner lights and shared them.

May the year to come be better than the last.


#Prayer #newyear #2018 #light #life #inspiration #radicalamazement #love #gratitude #Hope #humanity

Dec 21, 2017

On Being a Man in a #MeToo World

On Being a Man in a #MeToo World
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Huffington Post, Dec. 21, 2017

In an underground parking garage in downtown San Francisco recently, it became blindingly clear that I will never understand what it means to say #metoo.

I was calmly walking to my car, and saw a woman walking in the other direction, apparently looking to leave. I had a feeling that she was looking for the exit where I had just come from, so I said “this is where you go,” and pointed in the correct direction.

Then I saw her hesitate... [TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE]

Dec 12, 2017

Build the Light! A Channukah Note!

a note from Rabbi Creditor
Build the Light!

Dear Chevreh,

Channukah is tonight! On the one hand, the Festival of Lights is a very minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, without biblical narrative nor talmudic tractate. (For some great Channukah texts, click here.) On the other hand, here in America, when evening falls earlier in the day, these lights we light stand tall, shining bright like diamonds in the darkness.

I found myself watching my children just yesterday, cleaning our channukiot from accumulated wax from years gone by, creating new art to hang on the walls, and the truth of this simple maxim from the Talmud rang ever-more true to me:

"According to the House of Hillel, this is the custom of extreme beautifiers of tradition (mehadrin min hamehadrin): On the first day one lights one and from then on one continues to increase."

Each Jewish holiday has its own character. Channukah is a complicated story, with zealotry and war, ritual purity and societal assimilation, corruption and oppression, and ultimately liberation and re-dedication. The fascinating folklore of these 8 days should remind us, in our own complicated global moment, of the task at hand: start with light, and continue to increase. 

As we find ourselves witness to shimmering, flickering lights for the next 8 nights, may we also feel their fire within us, burning bright, reminding us of our capacity to illuminate every corner of the world. 

Chag Channukah Sameach!
Rabbi Creditor

Rabbi Menachem Creditor