Feb 17, 2020
To my Daughter at the Gates of Auschwitz
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Impossible. It just isn't.
I don't see it. She's not there.
There doesn't exist. It can't exist.
I can't. I can't see it.
I can't see her there.
So there mustn't be there at all.
I must be having a nightmare.
But it is there. And she's there.
It is a real, cruel thing. It is.
(And, my deepest consciousness screams,
"Are you really surprised it is real?
Have you been paying attention to today?
How are you shocked at all?)
I once stepped through those wretched gates,
brick nightmares promising freedom to the damned.
I even returned with a Jewish singing group.
I'm even heading back next year
with a diverse group of leaders
determined to learn from each other's pain.
But I can't endure her there,
She shouldn't be there.
There shouldn't be there.
doesn't belong anywhere in God's earth.
Not there, not here,
No where. No when.
(No, deepest consciousness, I'm not truly shocked. I know it's there and then and here and now and I'm just a father who wishes his children didn't have to face our own devastation and its horrors and I miss my glorious daughter and she's wearing our People's blue and white like a prayer-shawl and she saw the confiscated shawls of our murdered ancestors in glass cases beyond those gates and she is alive and we will never forget and of course I know all of this but our forged-by-fire Hope is based on cultivating the capacity to be surprised by evil, to be shocked by violence, to never accept such brutality as the way it is, to dream of the world as it ought to be, to see life through God's Eyes not only my own.)
We have to face our past and rage against it.
I know. I just hate it so much.
I wish the world were already closer
to the way it is supposed to be.
I wish this world deserved our children.
I open my eyes.
(Hadn't realized they were squeezed shut.)
I see her.
I see my hero.
I see the future.
Feb 3, 2020
Jan 28, 2020
"Loud, Proud, and Jewish" is published!
paperback link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/
With essays from a diverse group of Jewish leaders, "Loud, Proud, and Jewish" explores an unapologetic Jewish Pride that stands within and for - not against - the world, even in this moment of Jewish vulnerability and growing antisemitism. Read and be inspired!
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
13 Foreword: This is Our Moment
Melanie Roth Gorelick
17 Raise up the Joy
Rabbi Annie Tucker
26 My Mom Used to Say
32 How We View Ourselves
Rabbi Amitai Fraiman
37 Proudly Jewish and American
Rabbi Rachel Ain
42 Seriously, Honestly, and Joyously
Rabbi Jason Fruithandler
47 To Be Seen
Rabbi Debra Newman Kamin
53 Jewish Advocacy: Privilege and Permission
Rabbi Jack Moline
61 When Amtisemitism Becomes Us – and What We Must Do About It
Rabbi David Evan Markus
81 Neither Silenced Nor Afraid
87 Privilege and Vulnerability after the Pittsburgh Shooting
95 Olam Chesed Yibaneh: Building this World from Love
Rabbi Claudia Kreiman
Jan 14, 2020
A Jewish Reflection on the Census
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
In Jewish terms, the act of counting residents is unambiguous: everyone matters. Regarding the individual – citizen and resident alien alike – the Torah frames the governing power’s responsibility to count equally every person in its jurisdiction by invoking its opposite: Egyptian slavery. Just as Jewish tradition outlines the responsibility of those in power to provide adequate food, rest, and justice, it also obligates residents who are not (yet) citizens to abide by the nation’s covenantal laws. While the very category of ger (resident alien) indicates a legal distinction between citizens and non-citizens, there is no difference in the assertion of communal responsibility for both. The poor, the widow and the orphan of society are to be represented with dignity. Judaism affirms that by counting everyone, we both distribute justice ethically in our midst and we structurally remind ourselves that everyone counts.
 Ex. 22:20, 23:9; Lev. 19:33; Deut. 1:16, 10:18-19, 24:17, 19
 Lev. 19:34
 see Exod. 20:10, 23:12; Lev. 19:9-10; 23:22; Deut. 5:14, 24:19-22, for some examples.
 Lev 24:16-22; Deut. 29:10
 See Jeremiah 7:6; 22:3; Ezekiel 22:7, 29; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5 for some prophetic responses to injustice perpetrated against resident aliens.
Jan 13, 2020
Looking forward to teaching this Friday Night (7:30pm) with Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester during services, where I'll be delivering the Isaac Memorial Lecture during Social Justice Shabbat!
Rabbi David Wolpe in WashingtonPost.com: "Divorce is a death" Rabbi David Wolpe http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/...
I wrote this song for my daughter, born right after 9/11. This world will be built by love: ours and God's. In the best and worst of m...