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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I lift my eyes and glimpse a sliver of the expanse.
I look to the rabbis, whose inspired Blessing for Peace* was also a textual revolution against Bildad. They saw Heavenly peace and invited it earthward. What might otherwise feel unfathomable except through brute force was reframed by those rabbis into a prayer for something gentler.
So, achy for peace, I follow my ancestors' example and gaze at the sky. It seems peaceful up there, especially when compared with the earth below. Especially today.
I look to Heaven and pray for peace to grace this fragile planet we share.
Source texts (via Sefaria)
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all of us not just him
that's what I mean
what comfort though
to be sad with God
whose Holy Kiss
Oct 7, 2022
Oct 3, 2022
What is Yom Kippur? Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday in which people ask for forgiveness. It's marked by fasting and abstaining from things that give pleasure and comfort. Yet, "Yom Kippur is the happiest day on the calendar," said Rabbi Menachem Creditor. "It's a day where I get to start again. I get to be forgiven," he told InsideEdition.com. Rabbi Creditor urges people to "think of someone that you know whose feelings you might've hurt even accidentally, and take the moment and go apologize." #InsideEdition
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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Remember the long way that Adonai your God has made you travel in the wilderness these past forty years, to test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep God’s commandments or not. God subjected you to the hardship of hunger and then gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, in order to teach you that a person does not live on bread alone, but only upon that which God decrees. The clothes upon you did not wear out, nor did your feet swell these forty years. Bear in mind that Adonai your God disciplines you just as a parent disciplines their child. Therefore keep the commandments of Adonai your God: walk in God’s ways and revere God. (Deut. 8:2-6).
Aug 12, 2022
Aug 4, 2022
***SPECIAL BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!***
Truly humbled to share that for the first time, all of my essays, poems, and prayers, writings on Gun Violence have been published in one place. A very special thank you to my teacher, my friend, Fred Guttenberg, for his powerful foreword.
Aug 2, 2022
My teacher, Fred Guttenberg, spoke in court today. His victim impact statement as the father of Jaime z"l, who was murdered at the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in #Parkland, FL on February 14, 2018. Fred spoke about what the loss of his daughter has meant for him and his family. No father should have to say what Fred said today, "what if my daughter wasn't murdered?" This is so very painful. And it is so very necessary to witness if we are to make the necessary change. We must. May Jaime's memory be forever blessed. May her family find comfort. #EndGunViolence
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Jul 8, 2022
Dear God, Holy One, Beloved,
This fragile, beautiful world of ours stands at a precipice.
It always has. Perhaps it always will.
Every moment seems to be a crossroad.
Perhaps that was the plan.
Perhaps there was no plan.
But we promise again, Mother of All:
You’ve got us.
And we’ve got a plan.
Perhaps, Divine Mystery, that’s You, in us.
Perhaps our yearning for a more created world
is truly Your Spirit stirring in our minds’ eyes,
inspiring us to be the change we dream to see.
Perhaps, after all,
Yours has never been a plan,
but rather seeds of sacred vision.
Perhaps You, Dear One, and we, your children,
are learning every day and doing our best
to see more clearly and feel more fiercely.
God, that is a true gift:
to see with Your Eyes
and to love with Your Love.
For these blessings,
and the gift of more days in which to be of service with You
as partners in Creation,
may we be ever thankful.
We know we are called to repair
that which remains broken.
And so, we pray:
May we walk humbly but not too humbly
as we channel Your Spirit, coursing through our bodies
to bring more justice, more kindness, more hope,
and more love into the world.
May the coming days find us ever ready
to walk in Your ways by walking with each other
to do with our bodies what we often ask of You:
to see, to discover, to build
a truly beautiful world,
a world of Chesed, of Love.
image: "Where Heaven And Earth Meet." Engraving by an unknown artist that first appeared in Camille Flammarion's L'atmosphere meteorologie populaire (1888).
Jul 7, 2022
Jul 6, 2022
- All Who Can Protest - https://www.amazon.com/All-Who-Can-Protest-Rabbinic/dp/B0B4G37K3L/
- Holding Fast - https://www.amazon.com/Holding-Fast-Respond-American-Violence/dp/1790532876/
- Not By Might: Channeling the Power of Faith to End Gun Violence - https://www.amazon.com/Not-Might-Channeling-Power-Violence/dp/0692743383/
- Peace in Our Cities - https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Our-Cities-Against-Violence/dp/1482333813/
Jul 5, 2022
Jun 23, 2022
** Announcing the Publication of "All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic"!! **
** SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT **
“All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic” is now live! My fellow editors Rabbis Rachel Timoner, Michelle Dardashti, and Isaiah Rothstein and I are deeply appreciative of the 37 new contributions from rabbinic colleagues representing a rich tapestry Jewish expression, united in voice to End the American Gun Violence Epidemic. The second section of the book contains excerpts from the first 3 Rabbis Against Gun Violence anthologies: Peace in Our Cities (2013), Not By Might (2016), and Holding Fast (2018).
For now, dear friends, from our hearts, thank you.
May our world be blessed with health, safety, dignity, and peace.
Jun 16, 2022
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Stand Up & Get Loud: The Call of (Women's) Leadership - in honor of Laurie Girsky, upon completing 3 years of leading UJA Women
Jun 7, 2022
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May 31, 2022
*CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS* All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic
All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic
edited by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Rabbi Michelle Dardashti, and Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein
How can this be? Over and over and over and over, we are shocked to our cores by mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting. Or, even worse, we become less shocked. We must heed the teaching of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who wrote,
"When I see an act of evil, I'm not accommodated. I don't accommodate myself to the violence that goes on everywhere; I'm still surprised. That's why I'm against it, why I can hope against it. We must learn how to be surprised. Not to adjust ourselves.”
In the aftermath of recent mass shootings, including at the Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California, ALL WHO CAN PROTEST will document the ongoing call of American Jewish rabbinic leadership to END THE AMERICAN GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC.
Has your rabbi delivered a message of protest in response to Gun Violence? Contributions of 500-800 (plus or minus) words are due June 20, and must be sent IN WORD FORMAT to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 27, 2022
The poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the #Uvalde & #Buffalo #GunViolence Massacres, the rebuke of Parashat Bechukotai, and the prophetic voice of Dr Seuss - one urgent message: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."
May 26, 2022
|WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2022|
Guns are part of everyday American life. Then: If Donald Trump is attempting to pave a path back to the White House in 2024, the road ahead just got a little rockier.
10 years after Sandy Hook
Connecticut is where 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School almost a decade ago. Today, it is also a state in which it is still very easy to legally carry a gun. My colleague Graeme Wood, a Connecticut resident and gun enthusiast, proved just how easy last weekend, when he enrolled in a daylong class on guns and gun safety—the primary obstacle standing between him and a bona fide certification to carry a lethal weapon.
Anyone, Graeme observes, “with an IQ higher than a mango’s could pass” the class, which cost about $75. After that, it’s simply a matter of presenting yourself and your fingertips to the police, and paying a small fee. Anyone who’s not registered with the government as a criminal or psychiatric inpatient, and is not an “illegal” resident, is expected to be green-lit for gun ownership.
“I asked the instructor, who had spent decades working in fire and law enforcement, whether the officers at my local police station might refuse to issue me a carry permit, just because they thought I looked squirrelly and mentally unstable,” Graeme writes. “‘If they rejected people on that basis, do you think I’d have a permit?’ he joked. ‘But seriously. You could go in wearing your underpants on the outside and it wouldn’t matter.’”
Certainly this pipeline could be tightened. But, as Graeme explains, such a change might not make much of a difference—in Connecticut, or anywhere else in the United States. Nearly 400 million guns—many more than there were when Sandy Hook was attacked—are in civilian hands in the country already, woven into the fabric of daily life, and embedded deeply into American culture. Yesterday, an 18-year-old man carried one of them, a rifle, into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and killed at least 19 children and two adults. In the aftermath of the tragedy, people across the world are grieving; parents are fearful for their kids’ lives. And yet, little seems likely to change. Whatever will may exist for reform and gun control, my colleague Ronald Brownstein writes, this country’s political infrastructure probably won’t let any meaningful legislative action through.
That doesn’t mean we remain complacent. “These kids and all the people who die every day,” the emergency physician Megan Ranney told me, “deserve better than for us to forget them.”
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