Selected Videos

Selected Classes (video/audio/text):

A (YouTube) Book Talk on Dara Horn's "A Guide for the Perplexed" -- Join Rabbi Creditor as he leads a discussion about this amazing book, inspired by the biblical Joseph narrative and interspersed with episodes from the lives of Solomon Schechter and Maimonides, touching upon profound questions about family, memory, technology, and much more. --

Ask the Rabbi with Rabbi Menachem Creditor: Hunting, Kashrut, Conversion and Circumcision (Nov. 2013) this presentation was originally part of "A Guide to Judaism: A Class for All Considering Conversion"

The Big Gifts of Conservative Judaism (April 2013) Part of a series on Jewish Identity arranged by Rabbi David Paskin sponsored by Temple Beth Abraham in Canton, MA. -- YouTube link:

A Discussion of Nathan Englander's "Sister Cities" (March 2013) This story from Englander's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank" is so hard, so painful, and so accurate. Can this new Jewish sacred story point to a world where neighbors, sisters, trees, and land can be shared without hurt? We're pleased to offer this online way for you to join this emotional conversation based at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley. (In conjunction with JewishLearningWorks' One Bay, One Book.) --

Cremation and Jewish Tradition (Feb. 2013) What is the status of cremation in Jewish tradition? What is a rabbi's role & a community's responsibility when cremation happens in a Jewish community? What significance does the Holocaust have in the question? Is Jewish Law absolute? Does compassion make saying "no" impossible to hard emotional questions? --

No Graven Images! (Fall 2012) Rabbi Creditor serves as visiting preacher at the Berkeley Church Without Walls and teaches about the 2nd commandment of the "Big Ten." - audio

Human Cosmic Power (Rabbinical Assembly Convention 2012) - What is the capacity, the calling that a human being embodies as a living Image of the Divine? Based on the teachings of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, this talk was part of the Opening Program at the Rabbinical Assembly Convention featuring Rabbi Creditor and other passionate rabbis in Atlanta, GA. - video, texts

The Legacy of Moshe Rabbeinu (Sinai Memorial Chapel Zayin Adar Lunch 2012) - What are some lessons we can learn from Moshe Rabbeinu? At the Zayin Adar lunch for Sinai Memorial Chapel, Rabbi Creditor gleans lessons from the life of the greatest and most humble prophet. - audio

The Case for Commandedness: "Religious Language for non-Conformists" (January 29, 2012) - For some, the source of religious authority is a God whose words and Will are known. For others, religious authority is irrelevant to their lives, based on many factors. But Jewish tradition offers, through so much of its texture, the possibility of an intensified experience of the world. Imagine a relationship of obligation that frees you and those you love as it guides, and jump into this exciting exploration and discussion! - audio, handout

Exile as a Metaphysical Reality (March 24, 2011) - Since Abraham, we have been 'outsiders looking in.' Although many of us see Israel as 'home', most of us don't live there. But 'exile' can mean much more than just living in the Diaspora. What is home? Where are the margins? Is an exilic life inescapable? Is it a blessing? - audio, handout

The Necessity of Windows (Oct. 25, 2009) - The portrayal of Jewish tradition as a self-contained system freezes a naturally evolving civilization into a limited legal tradition based on one moment in its history. This reduction of tradition not only translates inherited tradition into the realm of "untouchability", but it also rejects the validity and holiness of the outside world. Join this conversation with Rabbi Creditor, discussing a Judaism most authentically practiced when its religious leadership, in a process of healthy assimilation, combines the best of the inside with the best of the outside. - handout

Revelation of a Sacred Embrace (Nov. 9, 2008) - The embrace of humanity is surely a Jewish imperative, but not to be misconstrued as conferring Jewish identity. I embrace the other as a fellow Divine Image and accept the ideas of the other as potentially equally valid paths to God. But the other is not me. And cherishing those who observe differently, think differently, and talk differently, is neither more nor less holy than discovering how I am called to observe, think, and talk. Participate in this conversation on pluralism, Judaism, and holiness where Rabbi Creditor shared his recently published article in Conservative Judaism entitled "The Sacred Embrace." - audio, handout

High Holidays Lecture: Jewish Days of Judgment and Purpose (September 2011) This shiur/class is an emotional glimpse into the themes and flow of Elul, Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. -- audio, handout


"My Big Fat Jewish Learning" with Josh Kornbluth (Jan-April 2011)
· "The Prophet's Wife: The Book of Hosea" - Handout
· "As a Driven Leaf: Midrash" - Handout
· "Tree of Souls: Jewish Mythology" - Handout
· "For the Love of God and People: Jewish Law" - Handout
· "A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community: Denominations" - Handout
· "The World to Come" - Handout
· "Israeli Poets and Jewish Prayer" - Audio coming soon! - Handout

Dynamic Judaism (Feb-June 2009)
· Dynamic Judaism: “An Introduction” - The term "dynamic" suggests a responsive system which responds to new challenges in real-time rather than having a predetermined response. Judaism has always been a home for questions, for newness, and yet somehow calls itself "traditional." Join this discussion of a living, breathing Judaism, which Rabbi Isaac HaCohen Kook suggested when he wrote that "the ancient must be renewed and the new must be sanctified." Audio, Handout
· Dynamic Judaism: “Movements and Denominationalism” - Many believe that authentic Judaism has a certain look and that the different denominations of Judaism are either closer or farther from a "good-enough Judaism." How does each denomination see itself? Is that how one denomination sees another? Is it possible to see a valid Jewish path elsewhere without abandoning a conviction that your own is the right one for you? Join this discussion of what Rabbi David Hartman has called "A Heart of Many Rooms." Audio, Handout
· Dynamic Judaism: "Rebels and Heretics" - What happens when someone pushes Judaism too hard? Are innovators heretics? Or is there a system of traditional heresy in Judaism? Who sets the boundaries of authenticity, and what precisely is tradition? Is advocacy a Jewish tradition? Or a concession to social trends? Join this discussion on the place of Jewish discontent and Jewish tradition, centering on those who, as Rabbi Haviva Ner-David has it, live "life on the fringes." Audio
· Dynamic Judaism: "Why not Oysters?" - Rabbi Neil Gillman has asked: "Why do some laws change and others not change? Why can we drive to shul on Shabbat but not a museum? Why are all cheeses kosher but oysters still treif? Why change some portions of our liturgy but not others?" This installation of the Dynamic Judaism series with Rabbi Creditor will address these questions through an exploration of the Conservative Jewish approach to tradition in the face of new challenges. Audio, Handout
· Dynamic Judaism: "Catalyzing Rest" - The power of Halacha (Jewish Law) to guide our lives is sometimes missed because it is simply so detailed. Certain personalities in Jewish history have called into question the usefulness of Halacha as a vehicle for Jewish spirituality. In this conversation, Rabbi Creditor will make a case for Halacha as a textured approach to healthy sacred living, and as a way of being in a distinctly non-fundamentalist relationship with God. Audio, Handout

Living a Mythic Life (Feb-July, 2008)
· “Mythic Time: An Introduction” - While time is perceived to flow forward according to conventional wisdom, Jewish mythic time conflates the past and the present. What does it mean to truly relive the Exodus? Is it possible? Might we come to believe that we are not only alive now, but will be alive in generations to come? Audio, Handout
· Mythic Places - The World Trade Center, tragic landmark of beginnings and endings and of sudden disappearance, has risen to mythic proportion since 9/11. It now stands together with a pantheon of places that orient us physically and spiritually, about which powerful myths of origins and life crises like birth, death, marriage, and transcendent intersections with the Divine collect and swirl. What also of Jerusalem, a place whose very name is taught to singe the lips? How might we come to understand the spiritual symbolism of a place, both real and legendary, as a psychic center, a source of dynamic energy and a place of modern life? Audio, Handout
· Mythic People I: Rabbinic Era - Our spiritual texts and history include mythic people; mystics who created Golems, prophets who could resurrect, rain-makers, and more. What do these stories demonstrate? Is it possible to be a rationalist and yet tell these stories with conviction? Do mythic people roam our world today? Did they ever? Does the Jewish people need mythic people? Join Rabbi Creditor in a conversation regarding Mythic People as we continue the exploration of Living a Mythic Life. Audio, Handout
· Mythic People II: Eastern Europe - Our spiritual texts and history include mythic people; mystics who created Golems, prophets who could resurrect, rainmakers, and more. What do these stories demonstrate? Is it possible to be a rationalist and yet tell these stories with conviction? Do mythic people roam our world today? Did they ever? Do the Jewish people need mythic people? (Sorry, not recorded; no audio is available), Handout
· Mythic Narratives - A literal reading of Torah does not have the capacity to describe the Infinite. For that the imagination is required. What then might we expect to feel for biblical text? Do we dare suggest that the Torah, our sacred center, is a work of imagination? What of Divine Inspiration? Divine Authorship? Is a Myth a lie? What then of spiritual authority? Audio, Handout
· Mythic Conduct - Myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice, in which one important function of myth is to provide an explanation for ritual. In traditional Jewish theology, rituals are considered important precisely because they were established by God and those who spoke in God's Name. What happens to a system of ritual when the origin of its authority is re-understood? Is "Jewish Law/Halacha" still a relevant term? Should it be? Audio, Handout

Seeing Blessing (Re'eh)