Feb 24, 2021

What Is Purim?

Wow. Recorded this #Purim video with #InsideEdition last year. Feels like a million years ago. But made me smile - may Purim look like that again sometime soon! #PurimSameach #MarbimBeSimcha 

Being fabulous, Being of service. #Tetzaveh #MorningTorah

 

Feb 23, 2021

The #SNL thing is exhausting. But it's also symbolic and real

"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality." -Edgar Allan Poe

The #SNL thing is exhausting. But it's also symbolic and real. And there's a significant difference between the way it plays out in Israel (the ostensible target of the joke) and the way it plays out in America, where 'Jewish,' the punchline to the #antisemitic 'joke,' is a physically vulnerable minority.

While I don't often quote the Jerusalem Post, their editorial (which called the outcry over Michael Che's joke 'unreasonable') articulated why in an America that still boasts Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and tiki-torch-wielding White Nationalists, a fierce Jewish response is necessary:

"It’s one thing for us to make fun of ourselves to each other here, and quite another for someone else to make fun of us to others over there. That type of joke in Israel will not spur someone with antisemitic tendencies to go dab a swastika on the wall of a synagogue, or worse. In America it may."

_______________

art: "Words in the Wind," Ruben Monzon

In the spirit of Queen Esther, let’s make this a better world by turning things (and ourselves) over and over again, until we get it right! #RealPurimTorah

 

Feb 19, 2021

What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Question: What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Answer: As one might imagine, different rabbis have different answers to this truly modern question. I say this: Lighting at 10am in New York as part of a Jerusalem community is holy but not halachically applicable (meaning that Shabbat does not begin in New York despite being spiritually connected to Jerusalem through a holy beyond-space simultaneous convening).

In the realm of the holy, space and time do not exist. But in the realms of time and space, holiness is like an electric current - we tap in to its theoretically boundless power but are not dissolved into energy ourselves. Shabbat begins at different moments based on location, the boundaries of time and space still apply to our lives, though the spiritual beauty knows no limits.

A Shabbos gift from Neshama and me!

 (Mi Anochi cowritten by Ariel Creditor and Rabbi Menachem Creditor)

So emotional. "Make me a holy space, and I will dwell within you." The Torah could never have predicted a sacred digital community, but for the past 237 weekday mornings, weekday mornings with UJA-Federation's 9am Torah community has been nothing short of godly. #MorningTorah #BuildOnLove

 

Feb 9, 2021

with a snap | a #WandaVision poem.


with a snap
(c) menachem creditor

If only we could control what comes next
bring them back
bring them all back
the snap it would be

no loss, no loss, no loss

but we can't
that's not how it works
it's not a snap

some gems are lost
even precious visions end
and we can't just can't
bring them back
with a snap

but we dare not lose
everything: ourselves, the world
as we grieve what we cannot control


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a #WandaVision poem.

How does this week's Torah portion model a modern response to injustice? #justice #justicejustice #BuildOnLove

 

Feb 1, 2021

The myth that Jews do not abuse their spouses must be shattered!

In memory of Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, let us spend time this week discussing/sharing what he labeled "The Shame Borne in Silence: Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community." In his 1996 groundbreaking book on Jewish Domestic Violence, he wrote:

"The myth that Jews do not abuse their spouses must be shattered! Now for the first time, a direct address to the problem of spouse abuse in the Jewish community! We can no longer permit ourselves to deny the existence of this terrible crime. The time has come to confront the truth and to take definitive steps to end this violation of all that Judaism stands for."

Here are some links for further exploration:

The Shame Borne in Silence: Spouse Abuse in the Jewish -Community - "Throughout the book, the author engages the reader with vignettes, using dialogue to illustrate how the abusive spouse establishes control and power while the victim doubts herself and accepts blame for her behavior. This stylistic technique allows readers to recognize the control tactics and to feel the hurt, bewilderment and resignation of the victim." - https://www.amazon.com/Shame-Borne-Silence.../dp/0964850818

Trager Lemp Center: Treating Trauma & Promoting Resilience - part of Westchester Jewish Community Services - "The Trager Lemp Center’s comprehensive outpatient programs are geared towards helping survivors of trauma and abuse and their families. The center provides targeted services for adult and child survivors of incest and child sex abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. We also provide comprehensive treatment for families of children with problematic sexual behavior." - http://www.wjcs.com/trauma/

New York Legal Assistance Group - NYLAG - Founded in 1990, NYLAG is a leading civil legal services organization combatting economic, racial, and social justice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. "The effects of intimate partner violence are long-lasting, affecting many aspects of a survivor’s life. This includes their physical safety, economic stability, housing, and health. Intimate partner violence can also have profound effects on children, who have often witnessed the violence. Access to trauma-informed, client-centered representation is crucial for our clients’ paths towards self-determination, safety, and security." - https://www.nylag.org/intimate-partner-violence/

What a gift it is to stand with leaders from other faiths, to listen to and gain from the learned wisdom of others, to do the hard work of communal introspection and healing! #Yitro #AbrahamTwerski #SistersAndBrothers #Faith

 

On Finishing a Year of Torah

In the midst of these strange times, a growing community of friends have joined together every weekday morning at 9am on the UJA-Federation ...