Jul 25, 2022

a quiet, powerful rabbinic experience.

Just had a quiet, powerful rabbinic experience.

Often, clergy shares with others life's most tender and vulnerable moments. And then, once the intensity ebbs, usually after many years, the intimacy and frequency of the relationship ebbs as well. Sometimes the rabbi changes locations. Sometimes the other person does.
But then, every once in a while, re-encounter happens. This one was on Facebook.
Many years ago, I became part of someone's life when their spouse was dying. I fell in love with them both and with their family. I learned with them, sang with them, and eventually did bury my new friend, crying with their family hot, grieving tears. It was ravaging, and I've whispered my friend's name every Yizkor since.
Today, "by chance", I scrolled through FB (confession: I rarely do) and came across photos of my friend who had lost their spouse. I saw life in their eyes, glimpses into their next chapters since the grief we experienced together, clear happiness and health. All this brought new tears to my eyes, tears of comfort, tears of gratitude.
Years have passed since we've been near each other, and yet in this moment, time collapsed and I see hope.
Blessed is the One whose flow is Life itself.


We must (and can) learn to be curious again. #MattotMassei #MotiveAsymmetry

Jul 19, 2022

Looking back at Thomas

Looking back at Thomas
whose words did and didn't declare freedom
whose coat once did fit and now does not fit
our society which is and is not yet free,
I wonder:

As he gazes across the water
toward his neighbor Martin, 
whose folded arms and fierce gaze
say so much,

what would he say today?
would anything seem so self-evident anymore? 
and would he seem so tall?

- Menachem Creditor

Jul 17, 2022

Abortion and Reproductive Justice: Selected Jewish Resources

Abortion and Reproductive Justice:
Selected Jewish Resources

JFNA Dobbs vs. Jackson webinar source sheet (see links below for further study)

From Justification to Justice: Jewish Sources on Abortion
Dr. Michal Raucher, JTS Fellow and Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, Rutgers University 
Source Sheets on Sefaria re: "Abortion"


Statement by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America on US Supreme Court’s Ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, Overturning Roe v. Wade

Abortion and Reproductive Justice: A Jewish Perspective
Rabbis Joshua R. S. Fixler and Emily Langowitz

Encoded Law and Embodied Spirit: Judaism and Abortion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Jul 13, 2022

Parashat Balak: Tents, Privacy, and Justice

in memory of Jamie Guttenberg z"l, whose 19th birthday should have been today with gratitude to Daphne Lazar Price, Executive Director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, for her leadership. Her essay, "Shaming women who have abortions is not a Jewish ethic," is available here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/shaming-women-who-have-abortions-is-not-a-jewish-ethic/ also referenced in this reflection is Caitlin Chin's "What Privacy in the United States Could Look Like without Roe v. Wade," available here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/what-privacy-united-states-could-look-without-roe-v-wade

Jul 8, 2022

Perhaps: A Prayer with God for the World

Perhaps: A Prayer with God for the World
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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 6, 2022

An Evening Modeh Ani

An Evening Modeh Ani

Modeh Ani, Grateful Am I
Life-force of the Universe
for the soul You have lent me
so that I was able today
to experience the grandeur of Creation.

As the sun sets, 
as the day begins to end,
as we lay our heads to rest,
we ask You, Creator,
for something precious:

- Rabbi Menachem Creditor

#nighttime #gratitude #prayer 

All Four Rabbis Against Gun Violence Anthologies

Rabbis Against Gun Violence (RAGV) published Peace in Our Cities (2013) in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A subsequent volume, Not by Might (2016) was created in response to the shooting massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Holding Fast (2018) was published in the aftermath of the antisemitic shooting massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All Who Can Protest (2020) was published after the attacks in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX.

Jul 5, 2022

We Are All Implicated: The Red Heifer & American Gun Violence

There were 6 mass shootings in America on #July4th 2022 & 413 people were shot during the last 72 hours.

#HighlandParkIL #BostonMA #SacramentoCA #KansasCityMO #ChicagoIL #RichmondVA #GunViolence #EndGunViolence #EnoughIsEnough

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Shavuot: The Torah of Tenacious Love