Feb 9, 2017

Upon Being Arrested

From Rabbi Creditor: 
Upon Being Arrested
February 8, 2017 
Shevat 13, 5777

Dear Friends,  

As you likely already know,  I was arrested two nights ago in New York City as part of an act of civil disobedience with 18 other rabbis. We joined with hundreds of other rabbis, Jews, and others to protest President Donald Trump's refugee ban. I am still processing the experience, and am profoundly moved by the responses I've received from many of you. (I've pasted at the end of this email a reflection I wrote an hour after being released from jail.)

I'll be sharing my reflections on this experiences as the drasha this Shabbat. (Rabbi Sarah Shulman, Director of Camp Ramah in Northern California, graciously offered to deliver the introduction to the Torah reading in my place, freeing me to offer the drash.) I had the opportunity to share with our Preschool students and with the Wednesday Afternoon Torah Study group some thoughts, and will share some time with our Amitim and Madrichim students this Shabbat afternoon, discussing the role of Tzedek (Social Justice) within a Bat/Bar Mitzvah journey.

I'm writing to keep you all informed, to let you know I'm well, and to thank you for being the kind of community that sees the work of a Jew in the world holistically, both tending to the inner needs of our community and helping perfect the world through Jewish learning, being, and doing (letaken Olam bemalchut shaddai, as we say in the Aleinu: to fix the world by spreading sanctity - this is the root of the phrase Tikkun Olam.) 

Also, just last week, we were thrilled to share the publication of " We Will Not Be Silent," a collection of passionate voices of #JewishResistance, including drashot and essays by our very own Renee Rubin RossYossi FendelRabbi Michael Rothbaum and Rabbi Carol Cain. Also included in the collection are national Jewish leaders Rabbis Sharon Brous, Eve Posen, David WolkenfeldRav Shmuly YanklowitzMichael Adam Latz, and Aaron AlexanderAll tezedakah proceeds will be donated to the holy work of CNS. All purchases will be through this online link.

We are part of raising each other up, and maintaining the sacred values of a Beloved Community. This is one of the ways our gifts as a participatory shul bless the world beyond our building. 

Finally, here are a few news links, and a call to action for this coming Sunday, where I hope you'll join me in SF at 3pm for the National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees.
  • For a few articles about the protest and the arrests of the 19 rabbis, click here.
  • rabbi creditorFor more information about this Sunday's National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees,  click here.
With much love, and deep gratitude for our shul's deep commitment to Justice,
A Reflection Upon Being Released from Jail
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2017 (1:30am)

Praise to the Holy One for my freedom.

I was arrested tonight in New York, along with 18 other holy brothers and sisters, standing, marching, singing, praying, and raging at the hate and injustice being launched by the President toward immigrants, toward Muslims - toward vulnerable 'others' - being created and encoded in American law, media, and culture. We sat, blocking traffic, in front of Trump Tower. We sat, arm in arm, davening and singing. We walked together, singing songs of Love and Freedom (including my soul's song Olam Chesed, sung by hundreds as I walked the very blocks upon which I carried my newborn daughter as I composed the song for her).

We spent some of the night in jail. I was released 30 minutes ago. The Rabbis with whom I spent tonight in jail are my sisters and brothers. We davened, sang, spoke, joked, and learned. I will need time to process this, but I am humbled to have been part of this holy act of #JewishResistance.

Tonight was the most Rabbis arrested in one action in US history. And, all the while, even as I was handcuffed and processed, even as the NYPD treated us with respect, I know the fight has barely begun for the soul of our nation.

I invite you to join this movement. This is what Judaism looks like: marching for justice. This is what payer looks like: putting your body where your words are. This is what Torah looks like: righteous people doing good.

ברוך מתיר אסורים / Blessed is the one who frees the bound.

My deep thanks to Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster and the team at T'ruah, for including me, and for leading us all.

More tomorrow perhaps. In this late moment, reeling from a surreal experience of moral courage, a short time in jail, and the real sense of 19 rabbis who sang and danced together outside the police precinct at 1:30am, I'm more aware of the work ahead than ever before. And the need for rest.

Bless you all. Lets go!

Here's video coverage from NBC New York:

Here's video coverage from FOX New York:
click the photo for the Times of Israel News Story
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CNS Mission Statement

Netivot Shalom invites you to engage in a cross-generational discovery of Jewish inspiration and purpose.

Our community is defined by the values of:
  • Belonging - we believe, as a participatory egalitarian community, that every member has a voice.
  • Learning - we provide introductory and continuing encounters with Jewish wisdom.
  • Ritual - we strive to deepen personal engagement with the sacred.
  • Justice - we embrace Judaism's call to perfect the world.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbi, Congregation Netivot Shalom
Chair, Rabbis Against Gun Violence (#RAGV)

Scheduling Inquiries: ra@netivotshalom.org or (510) 549-9447 x103

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