Oct 12, 2018

The Profound Gift of Ritual

The Profound Gift of Ritual
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

This moment is a difficult one in our world. It's true. It might also be that it is 'simply' the most recent such moment, with countless hardships in the past and a flow of challenges ahead. Hence, the profound joy of ritual, of being held by something larger than myself, the comfort of predictable stability in a shaky world, of something lasting and beautiful.

I am holding my child's tefilin in my hand. I remember when his older sister first received hers. I remember when my father gave me my tefilin. These are holy moments, where we lovingly tie ourselves to each other and to the world beyond us. My children will find their own ways, I know. I trust their hearts to find meaning in the world. This magic moment, worthy of pause, marked by blessing, is bigger than us all. It binds us to our People, to the Source of Life, to the world.

As we say while putting tefilin on, may we be bound together in Trust, Love, Righteousness, Justice, and intimate relationship with the Holy Blessed One.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

#tefilin #ritual #blessing #tradition #holiness #sacred #pause #jewish #parenting #father #son #barmitzvah #joy #gratitude #buildingonlove

Oct 8, 2018

Beyond this American Moment

Beyond this American Moment
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

As excruciating as this moment in American history may be, it is also a moment of American history and the erosion (perceived, real, and threatened) of institutions of our democracy should be deeply worrisome.

Nationalism (carefully understood as the notion that one's country is worthy of existence) requires faith in a system that surpasses the exigencies of the day, and faith is itself larger than one's own life. Therefore, we dare not abandon faith in the legitimacy of the institutions of our nation.

America has done (and continues to do) wrong things. Very wrong things. We have also accomplished great things. Truly magnificent ones. We are Senator McCarthy and we are Dr. King. We are RBG and we are DJT. In truth, America has only been as great in any given moment as Americans have acted in that given moment, and ours is one such trial. We have always been, in a word, as complicated as our citizenship, just as noble, just as unconscionably rude, just as irrepressibly hopeful. The Framers foretold such a reality because they themselves were hardly united in politics or in temperaments.

I will not wield my passionate American patriotism as a chisel against the institutions that comprise American Democracy, though I do believe unsuited human beings currently lead those institutions. A deeper view of our nation's still-short history deserves reinvestment in civic duty, not a rebellion against it.

If America hopes to transcend the harsh, partisan spirit of this national moment, we Americans must call upon their our angels in a moment when lesser ones beckon.

#America #patriotic #democracy #SCOTUS #potus #congress #faith #nation #justice #history #civic #duty

The Profound Gift of Ritual

The Profound Gift of Ritual © Rabbi Menachem Creditor This moment is a difficult one in our world. It's true. It might also be that it...