Nov 11, 2019

"Sunsetting" TheTisch

Shalom Everyone,

For the past 19 years (!!), I've been honored to share Torah and updates with "TheTisch," a YahooGroup. In the coming months, YahooGroups will begin gradually closing down most of its functionality, and so TheTisch will sunset along with the times. 

Luckily, there are other ways for us to remain connected! On my website,, you can find much of my material, including books, music, and videos. You can follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and much of the Torah originally shared through TheTisch has been incorporated into two of my books: What Does it Mean? (2013) and Intense Beginnings (2014), both available via Amazon. My most recent album, Olam Chesed (2015) is available on Amazon and iTunes.

And there's always the deepest joy of actually seeing each other! I love serving as Scholar in Residence around the country, and will be visiting the following communities in the coming months:

Friends, TheTisch began as a way of connecting the college students I led on Birthright Israel in Dedember, 1999, sharing a weekly thought with a beautiful group of souls. It's grown and grown, and I'm grateful to have been able to share a holy journey with you all. I'll continue distributing my writings through this email list until it no longer functions, but hope we'll find ways of remaining connected outside of its platform as well!

Kol Tuv - all my best!

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Nov 1, 2019

Recent Releases! Inside Edition, JCPA, and!

Dear Friends,

What a time we've been granted - I pray you and those you love are well. I'm thrilled to be both deeply engaged in my work at UJA-Federation, the National Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce at JFNA, and also on the National Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce of the JCPA. We have much to do to save each other's lives, and the urgency only grows. May the need decrease and the passionate concern for each other's welfare increase, soon and in our days.

Perhaps I'll be blessed to see some of you in Toronto next Shabbat/Sunday, either at Holy Blossom or at Limmud, CA! In the meantime,  Here are some of the recent projects I've released:

What is Rosh HaShannah?  

What is Yom Kippur? 

Gun Violence Through a Jewish Lens -  

The Tower of Babel and The Myth of Unity (Parashat Noach) -  

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Oct 30, 2019

Resources for JCPA Gun Violence Prevention Webinar (10.30.19)

Books Edited by Rabbi Creditor:
Articles/Prayers/Poems by Rabbi Creditor:

Aug 12, 2019

Holy Tears: A Not Kaddish

Holy Tears
© menachem creditor

what is it, precisely, this life,
comedy or tragedy?

we knowingly face death,
imminent, less-imminent,
it's there. waiting.
we know.

and if we think there's a way out
(oh, we don't want to die,
i mean i don't.)
we are wrong.
we will die.

tears well up
at the thought of the end,
the knowledge of it,
can be the tears of heroes
who fight livingly for every moment,
see majesty in the simple
muffin laundry sunset table
love love love love.


those tears, Holy One,
they are not ours alone.

Oh God, Your holy, trembling Hand,
hovering, quivering over Your
Infinite Book of Finite Life,
where even the days of the righteous end.

Oh, the vast sadness You must feel
when a fragment of Your Sacred Heart
dies. departs this world.

God, we are dying.
That's true.

perhaps, if we agree to live,
really live while we are alive,
then that's ok. perhaps.
(not really, but maybe.)

Your Tears are our tears,
Source of All.
We cry together.
Images of God and God.
Holy Tears.

It's so very, very sad when we die.
and it's also so very beautiful to live.
Those are Holy Tears, too.
Happy Sad Holy Tears.

Thank You.

A Shabbat of Visions

Jul 10, 2019

That day, This day: Five Years after the Bomb in the Sky

That day, This day: 
Five Years after the Bomb in the Sky
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor 

Five years ago, today, this was me, riding a lion in Jerusalem.

But five years ago today, hours earlier, I stood beneath a beautiful blue sky at the Foreign Ministry, looked up, and saw a missile sailing right at me, intercepted at the last minute by the Iron Dome defense system.

That was a moment in my life (and in the lives of countless others) that froze time, changed me forever. The bomb detonated in a loud poof of smoke, but the explosion within me was deafening and shattering and terrifying - andohmyGodImthereagainasItype... 

But I'm not there at all, not really, because it's been five years since the world turned upside down and I've learned so much since that awful day of bombs in the Heavens and lions on the ground.

Life is not to be taken for granted. We are called to grab life by its woolly mane and ride and ride and ride and ride. And smile. And live. I will never be the same after the bomb. I've never been so alive.

That day. This day.



Jul 9, 2019

more than the whole

more than the whole
© menachem creditor

I board the train, just like everyone.
They've had full days.
I have too.


What a wonder we all are,
groupings of traveling souls,
sharing a train ride,
each with our own eyes.
And days.
And skin.

How amazing God is, to have imagined all of this, each of us so different. Or maybe... Maybe we're more amazing than that. Maybe our skin and eyes and days exceed what even God once imagined.

Maybe each of us
is a fragment
of God's Imagination,
and the all of us
is more than the Whole.

Jun 30, 2019

shiny shellac and holy light

shiny shellac and holy light
© rabbi menachem creditor

An amazing thing, lightfall on the shiny shellac of a wooden table.

Questions arise:

Where did this tree live? How far did its journey take it before it became an object of reflection (and likely the recipient of copious restaurant spills)? Is the dark of its stain natural? Earned? Cosmetic? Did the journey etch itself in deep grooves and furrows, only to be erased in an effort to be functional, to be "presentable"? How many resting hands have recoiled from the stickiness of the shellac? How much weight can this tree support?

Across the table from me, an older couple looks into each other's eyes. She wipes crumbs from his beard, and his laughter is peace. He helps her stand as she grasps her cane, and her glance is heaven. The woman to my left, click-clacking on a laptop, shares my daughter's name (I hear the server call to her, and am suddenly aware she's there). Even her scrolling screen feels like more now.

Children, pastries, names, lovers, countertops, music in the air... Table has seen it all, nurtured it into being, and offered up this bursting moment to an open-hearted visitor who thought a gluten free, veggie-feta pocket was the purpose of this mid-journey stop.

Deepest of all, thanks to the Holy Table:

If you look closely, peer well-beneath the surface, you might even see that the tree, alive and pulsing, is and always has been reaching for the light. So too is every living thing eternally connected to the unceasing Light, the Holy Source of all, the indefinable illumination that penetrates from within and without.

Light, Dear One, light. More and more and more and more. Please. Thank you.

#light #blessing #witness #holinessallaround #BuildOnLove

Jun 11, 2019

A Blessing for Organ Donors

A Blessing for Organ Donors
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

May the enormity of the gift you are giving be felt by many, and may your body experience it minimally.

May the many natural emotions that well up in your body after surgery be overwhelmed by radical gratitude and personal fulfillment.

May the life you are about to save be worthy of your selfless act, performing many loving acts for others.


May 21, 2019

Mazal Tov Mr Ratburn!

Let me be the first Rabbi to bless Mr. Ratburn and his new husband a Mazal Tov on their simcha! 👨‍❤️‍👨❤️❤️ (I wonder where they're registered!)
In their honor, here are some beautiful stories about their wedding (the premier episode of Arthur, season 22 on PBS) and resources for celebrating love!
30 Children’s Books with LGBT Characters --
via Keshet: "Two Jewish Children's Books with LGBT Characters: -- "The Purim Superhero" -- & "The Flower Girl Wore Celery" -
A Rainbow Celebration: Gays & Lesbians in Books for Children --
via CNN: "'Arthur' character Mr. Ratburn came out as gay and got married in the season premiere and Twitter loved it" --
via YouTube: Arthur creator Marc Brown explains why he wanted a gay wedding to be part of the show:
#lgbtq #loveisloveislove

"Sunsetting" TheTisch

Shalom Everyone, For the past 19 years (!!), I've been honored to share Torah and updates with "TheTisch," a YahooGroup. I...