Oct 22, 2020

So moved by my conversation today with dear friend and co-editor Sarah Tuttle-Singer about our new book series, When We Turned Within (Volumes 1 & 2).

So moved by my conversation today with dear friend and co-editor Sarah Tuttle-Singer  about our new book series, When We Turned Within (Volumes 1 & 2). The experience of swimming in the hearts and souls of the 165 contributors to Volume 1 and the 107 contributors to Volume 2 has been at once overwhelming, grief-full, inspiring, and a profound honor. My deep thank to Sarah and our fellow authors for offering of themselves so purely and freely. Here's to looking back at these moments and seeing how care translated into pages, and from pages into the world we share.

When We Turned Within (Vol 1): amazon.com/dp/B089TS37YP
When We Turned Within (Vol 2): amazon.com/dp/B08L9S68T4

Living on an ark can be lonely. What can we learn from Noach's experience to support our own? #Torah #Noach #AloneTogether #BuildOnLove

 

Oct 21, 2020

Honored to hold these voices in my hands.

 


Honored to hold these voices in my hands. I feel the hearts of parents and teachers and nurses and poets and cantors and rabbis and journalists and bakers and grandparents. And our precious children. These words are our best attempts to honor the memories of those we’ve lost and our written commitments to be agents for change, for hope, for healing. Hinenu: We are here.
May this book be a source of comfort and strength and healing and love. May we reclaim the headlines with the shocking good we'll do. May it be said of us by generations to come that we did better than survived: we cared deeply for ourselves, for each other, and for our fragile world. May the decisions we make during these days make our descendants proud.
When We Turned Within (Vol 2): amazon.com/dp/B08L9S68T4
When We Turned Within (Vol 1): amazon.com/dp/B089TS37YP

Leadership Torah for today from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


"It is not enough to be righteous if that means turning our backs on a society that is guilty of wrongdoing. We must take a stand. We must protest. We must register dissent even if the probability of changing minds is small. That is because the moral life is a life we share with others. We are, in some sense, responsible for the society of which we are a part. It is not enough to be good. We must encourage others to be good. There are times when each of us must lead."

- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Empathy is the way, and the answer to the Tower of Babel. #Wednesday #Torah

 

Oct 19, 2020

**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW BOOK!** “When We Turned Within, Volume 2” is now live!

 **SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW BOOK!**

“When We Turned Within, Volume 2” is now live!

My amazing co-editor
Sarah Tuttle-Singer
and I are so proud to have shared this creative project with 107 contributors from around the world!
You can find the paperback here: amazon.com/dp/B08L9S68T4.
The Kindle version is here: amazon.com/dp/B08LDYZNKP.
Amidst so much that is wrong, this timely spark of light (the second volume of collective testimony in the When We Turned Within series) is so very right. In addition to bringing together reflections, poems and prayers created over the past few months, proceeds from the sale of this book will support
UJA-Federation of New York
’s COVID-19 relief work. The first volume raised over $1,000 to support this holy work, and we’re hopeful proceeds from this new collection will also bring strength to many in need.
For a wonderful article in the LA Jewish Journal covering the first volume, click here: https://tinyurl.com/wwtwLAJJ.
Rabbi
Karen Byer Silberman
, one of the 107 contributors to both collections, once again shared her beautiful original artwork for our cover. Our deep gratitude to Karen for her gifts.
Below, I’ve included my introduction to the book, where I hope you will feel the gratitude I have for you all sharing so freely from your souls.
The complete Table of Contents is available here: https://tinyurl.com/wwtw2toc
The complete list of contributors is available here: https://tinyurl.com/wwtw2contributors
May you and yours be blessed with health, safety, dignity, and peace.
Kol Tuv,
Menachem
______________________________
Welcome, friends.
The souls on these pages represent so much lived experience. Too much, perhaps. This book certainly is a heavy one, as it contains emotional truths beyond measure expressed during a time beyond compare.
What will you discover on these pages? Here you will find parents and teachers and nurses and poets. Here you will find cantors and rabbis and journalists and bakers. And grandparents. And children. We all share the same struggling world and unfathomable moment.
More than that: We attempted to translate our unreal reality into words.
Yet how can any of us, even the passionate outpouring that fills these pages (joined by those of the first volume of When We Turned Within) presume to bear adequate testimony to 40 million human beings infected and 1.1 million deaths from COVID-19 (as of the date of this book’s publication)? We simply cannot. As the great Rabbi Alan Lew framed the journey of the months this book details, “this is real and you are completely unprepared.”
It would be the height of blasphemy to present even these diverse and poetic offerings as sufficient. They are not. They could never be. But they are our best attempt to honor the memories of those we’ve lost and our written commitments to be agents for change, for hope, for healing.
Perhaps this collection is even simpler than that. Perhaps we are, as a collective expression spanning the globe, simply offering that most biblical of vows: Hinenu: We are here.
Somehow, in the midst of ravaging pandemic and brutal politics, as the West Coast of the United States burned and the Gulf Coast drowned, as hate scorched our souls and loneliness threatened our hearts, we did not give up. As the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once put it, we did not become “…resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.”
Friends, during these trying days we did not become silent. We wrote, and we marched, and we prayed, and we sang. And we loved. And then we loved some more. Tearful eyes still open to wonder, gritted teeth defying despair, we loved.
Friends, hands on hearts, let us all shout: Hinenu. We are here. And we’re so glad you are too.
May this book be a source of comfort and strength and healing and love.
May we reclaim the headlines with the shocking good we'll do.
May it be said of us by generations to come that we did better than survived: we cared deeply for ourselves, for each other, and for our fragile world.
May the decisions we make during these days make our descendants proud.
Tishrei 5781
October 2020
-------------------
Torah When We Turned Within: Reflections on COVID-19, Volume 2
edited by Rabbi Menachem Creditor and Sarah Tuttle-Singer

How good is good enough? Can we all fit on the ark? What does it mean to fight for our neighbors' safety and well-being? #WearAMask #socialdistance #WashYourHands #vote #BuildOnLove

 

Olam Chesed Yibaneh - Rabbi Menachem Creditor and Auri Productions

Proud of this beautiful collaboration to create a new recording of  #OlamChesedYibaneh!
Originally featured in "Songs of Love- a Tu B'Av Concert", benefitting American Friends of Magen David Adom​ on JBS Jewish Broadcasting Service​. 

Featuring: 
Rabbi Menachem Creditor​ & Neshama Carlebach​
Laurie Akers​
Cantors Fredda & Jacob Mendelson​
Kelly & Cantor Michael David Stein​
Cantor Jen Cohen​
Cantor Arianne Brown​
Ariel Wyner​: Mandolin
Producer: RobBen Music Productions​ 
Audio and Video: Auri Productions