#BringThemHomeNow

Jun 10, 2024

May 19, 2024

Letter to the Forward in response to "Whose art is it anyway? Inside the cultural battle between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters"

Though I appreciate Mira Fox considering my music part of the artistic canon ("Whose art is it anyway? Inside the cultural battle between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters," May 17), a clarification: others' political use of my music is not an act of interpretation. It is wrongful appropriation. This is similar to George W. Bush's use of Tom Petty's “I Won't Back Down” as part of his presidential campaign in 2000. The difference is that Bush's campaign was a coherent organization to whom a "cease and desist" letter could be delivered. Masked anti-Israel protestors avoid even the accountability of showing their faces. As Fox wrote, the intentions of dead artists can be hard to divine. I'm alive and making mine clear.


Rabbi Menachem Creditor
May 19, 2024



Apr 18, 2024

NEW BOOK! Calling Out: Psalms for Today

Calling Out: Psalms for Today

co-edited with Sarah Tuttle-Singer

The night of April 13, 2024 the People of Israel held their breath and prayed. In a world where conflict rages between communities, where uncertainty hangs heavy in the air, that night's most searched term on Google in Israel was "psalms” as the embattled nation prepared for an Iranian strike. Searching for psalms speaks to a collective yearning for solace and guidance, a longing expressed through the timeless form of prayer. In spiritual response, Sarah Tuttle-Singer and Rabbi Menachem Creditor invited writers to submit their modern-day psalms, evoking the rawness of the human experience, the ache for healing, and the yearning for illumination. Whether the words of a particular contributor echo the struggles of the past or illuminate the path towards hope amidst geopolitical tensions, Calling Out: Psalms for Today delves into the complexities of the human condition and expresses the yearnings of the human heart.

Mar 24, 2024

"VICTORY": A Purim Message

"VICTORY": A Purim Message

So many messages this Purim have been screaming out from the text, not the least of which is that the great victory Esther achieved was that, “...the king permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives. (Est. 8:11)” A Jewish right to self-defense is not an insignificant triumph, especially in an upside-down world like ours. But it is worthy of note - and a clarion call for vigilance - that a sacred text long understood as an absurd political satire still rings so true.


(Text below, with thanks to Sefaria)
————————————————————

ื•ַื™ִּืงָּืจְื֣ื•ּ ืกֹืคְืจֵֽื™־ื”ַืžֶּ֣ืœֶืšְ ื‘ָּֽืขֵืช־ื”ַ֠ื”ִ֠ื™ื ื‘ַּื—ֹ֨ื“ֶืฉׁ ื”ַืฉְּׁืœִื™ืฉִׁ֜ื™ ื”ื•ּื־ื—ֹ֣ื“ֶืฉׁ ืกִื™ื•ָ֗ืŸ ื‘ִּืฉְׁืœื•ֹืฉָׁ֣ื” ื•ְืขֶืฉְׂืจִื™ื֮ ื‘ּื•ֹ֒ ื•ַื™ִּื›ָּืชֵ֣ื‘ ื›ְּֽื›ׇืœ־ืֲืฉֶׁืจ־ืฆִื•ָּ֣ื” ืžׇืจְื“ֳּื›ַ֣ื™ ืֶืœ־ื”ַื™ְּื”ื•ּื“ִ֡ื™ื ื•ְืֶ֣ืœ ื”ָืֲื—ַืฉְׁื“ַּืจְืคְּื ִֽื™ื־ื•ְื”ַืคַּื—ื•ֹืช֩ ื•ְืฉָׂืจֵ֨ื™ ื”ַืžְּื“ִื™ื ֜ื•ֹืช ืֲืฉֶׁ֣ืจ ׀ ืžֵื”ֹ֣ื“ּื•ּ ื•ְืขַื“־ื›ּ֗ื•ּืฉׁ ืฉֶׁ֣ื‘ַืข ื•ְืขֶืฉְׂืจִ֤ื™ื ื•ּืžֵืָื”֙ ืžְื“ִื™ื ָ֔ื” ืžְื“ִื™ื ָ֤ื” ื•ּืžְื“ִื™ื ָื”֙ ื›ִּื›ְืชָื‘ָ֔ื”ּ ื•ְืขַ֥ื ื•ָืขָ֖ื ื›ִּืœְืฉֹׁื ֑ื•ֹ ื•ְืֶ֨ืœ־ื”ַื™ְּื”ื•ּื“ִ֔ื™ื ื›ִּื›ְืชָื‘ָ֖ื ื•ְื›ִืœְืฉׁื•ֹื ָֽื׃
So the king’s scribes were summoned at that time, on the twenty-third day of the third month, that is, the month of Sivan; and letters were written, at Mordecai’s dictation, to the Jews and to the satraps, the governors and the officials of the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Nubia: to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.

ื•ַื™ִּื›ְืชֹּ֗ื‘ ื‘ְּืฉֵׁื֙ ื”ַืžֶּ֣ืœֶืšְ ืֲื—ַืฉְׁื•ֵืจֹ֔ืฉׁ ื•ַื™ַּื—ְืชֹּ֖ื ื‘ְּื˜ַื‘ַּ֣ืขַืช ื”ַืžֶּ֑ืœֶืšְ ื•ַื™ִּืฉְׁืœַ֣ื— ืกְืคָืจִ֡ื™ื ื‘ְּื™ַื“֩ ื”ָืจָืฆִ֨ื™ื ื‘ַּืกּื•ּืกִ֜ื™ื ืจֹื›ְื‘ֵ֤ื™ ื”ָืจֶ֙ื›ֶืฉׁ֙ ื”ָֽืֲื—ַืฉְׁืชְּืจָื ִ֔ื™ื ื‘ְּื ֵ֖ื™ ื”ָֽืจַืžָּื›ִֽื™ื׃
He had them written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet. Letters were dispatched by mounted couriers, riding steeds used in the king’s service, bred of the royal stud,

ืֲืฉֶׁืจ֩ ื ָืชַ֨ืŸ ื”ַืžֶּ֜ืœֶืšְ ืœַื™ְּื”ื•ּื“ִ֣ื™ื ׀ ืֲืฉֶׁ֣ืจ ื‘ְּื›ׇืœ־ืขִื™ืจ־ื•ָืขִ֗ื™ืจ ืœְื”ִืงָּื”ֵืœ֮ ื•ְืœַืขֲืžֹ֣ื“ ืขַืœ־ื ַืคְืฉָׁื֒ ืœְื”ַืฉְׁืžִื™ื“֩ ื•ְืœַื”ֲืจֹ֨ื’ ื•ּืœְืַื‘ֵּ֜ื“ ืֶืช־ื›ׇּืœ־ื—ֵ֨ื™ืœ ืขַ֧ื ื•ּืžְื“ִื™ื ָ֛ื” ื”ַืฆָּืจִ֥ื™ื ืֹืชָ֖ื ื˜ַ֣ืฃ ื•ְื ָืฉִׁ֑ื™ื ื•ּืฉְׁืœָืœָ֖ื ืœָื‘ֽื•ֹื–׃
to this effect: The king has permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives; if any people or province attacks them, they may destroy, massacre, and exterminate its armed force together with women and children, and plunder their possessions—

ื‘ְּื™֣ื•ֹื ืֶื—ָ֔ื“ ื‘ְּื›ׇืœ־ืžְื“ִื™ื ֖ื•ֹืช ื”ַืžֶּ֣ืœֶืšְ ืֲื—ַืฉְׁื•ֵืจ֑ื•ֹืฉׁ ื‘ִּืฉְׁืœื•ֹืฉָׁ֥ื” ืขָืฉָׂ֛ืจ ืœְื—ֹ֥ื“ֶืฉׁ ืฉְׁื ֵื™ื־ืขָืฉָׂ֖ืจ ื”ื•ּื־ื—ֹ֥ื“ֶืฉׁ ืֲื“ָֽืจ׃
on a single day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.

https://www.sefaria.org/Esther.8.12
https://www.sefaria.org/Esther.8.11
https://www.sefaria.org/Esther.8.10
https://www.sefaria.org/Esther.8.9

Mar 14, 2024

New Book Announcement: Seder Interrupted: A Post-October 7 Hagaddah Supplement




Honored to have partnered with my friend, my teacher, Dr. Ora Horn Prouser and Academy for Jewish Religion in this timely project.
Pesach (Passover) is one of the holidays that is most widely celebrated in the Jewish community. This year, as so many are struggling with the events of October 7, the tragic suffering of Israeli hostages, and the rise of Antisemitism in the United States and beyond, the texts and observances of Passover are open to new and difficult meanings, new interpretation, and deep connections. How are we thinking about the definition of freedom this year? How do we read Vehi She’amdah this year as we see on a daily basis those who “seek our destruction”? What is the new meaning in L’shanah Haba’ah B’yerushalayim as many in the American Jewish community are strengthening connections to Israel? What will we be thinking during Shfoch Chamat'cha when we struggle with the concept of calling for God’s anger against our enemies? Seder Interrupted is a timely resource for the Jewish community that will help us all to process and celebrate Pesach 2024/5784 – finding joy and allowing ourselves to experience sadness, and connecting to the Divine and each other, perhaps in different ways in the new world we are experiencing.

Feb 28, 2024

Ben Stern, Baruch Bendit ben Shimon Nussen veYentl, z"l


A Great One has left the earth, and we are poorer for our enormous loss. I am reeling, as are the countless people who loved and learned from Ben Stern, Baruch Bendit ben Shimon Nussen veYentl, z"l, a Survivor of two ghettos, nine concentration camps, and two death marches - and who lived until the age of 102 as a model of perseverance, testimony, justice, and love. My friend has died, and my heart mourns to its core.

Ben was a student of the great Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira in the Warsaw Ghetto. He witnessed, as a child in the Ghetto, the great educator Janusz Korczak, accompany by choice the children in his care out of the Ghetto to the camps, where he too was murdered. Ben created the Janusz Korczak Bnai Brith Lodge in Skokie and fought the Nazis when they threatened to March then in the 60's.

Ben's beloved daughter, Charlene, was among the founders of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, where I was blessed to serve, and where Ben and his beloved Helen z"l moved. For several years, Ben brought groups of teens back to Poland and to Israel to inspire them by demonstrating for them the life-force of Am Yisrael, the Jewish People. In 2017, at the age of 96, Ben helped lead a March Against Hate, facing an entire city with the strength of his indefatigable soul. When I introduced him to my beloved Neshama, he danced before us on the spot and blessed our marriage, knowing that he wouldn't be able to attend our wedding.

It will always be among my deepest honors to have been his student.

We will march, my friend. I promise.
You have acquitted yourself nobly.
You have made your People proud.
Rest. Finally, dear man, rest.

Feb 26, 2024

Broadcast 1,000 of Morning Torah! #Shehechiyanu


Beginning the morning of March 18, 2020, UJA-Federation of NY Scholar in Residence Rabbi Menachem Creditor began broadcasting a 15-minute daily opportunity on FB Live for the New York Jewish community to come together and start each day with Jewish learning and inspiration. Born as a timely, local response to the dislocating impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, these ongoing broadcasts have birthed a global community centered on sharing Torah and life every weekday morning. For the full archive, click here: https://rabbicreditor.blogspot.com/p/daily-broadcast.html

Feb 18, 2024

**Call for Contributions to A Timely Passover Haggadah Supplement**


Friends, I'm thrilled to be partnering with my friend and teacher, Dr. Ora Horn Prouser and The Academy for Jewish Religion community to publish a supplement to the Passover Haggadah to be used at our sedarim this year, giving expression to our solidarity with Israel and the Jewish People. We are calling for submissions of short pieces, drashot, poems, and prayers.
Pesach is one of the holidays that is most widely celebrated in the Jewish community. This year, as so many are struggling with the events of October 7, the tragic suffering of the hostages, and the rise of antisemitism in the United States and beyond, the texts and observances of Passover are open to new and difficult meanings, new interpretation, and deep connections. How are we thinking about the definition of freedom this year? How do we read Vehi She’amdah this year as we see on a daily basis those who “seek our destruction”? What is the new meaning in L’shanah Haba’ah B’yerushalayim as many in the American Jewish community are strengthening connections to Israel? What will we be thinking during Shefokh Hamatkha when we struggle with the concept of calling for God’s anger against our enemies? Creating a collection of materials to be used at the seder will be very useful and powerful for the Jewish community.
Pieces should not exceed 500-700 words. We ask that you additionally write one or two sentences sharing where in the Seder you think your contribution belongs. Submissions and questions should be sent to HaggadahSupplement@ajr.edu. We are on a very short turnaround time, so we need materials submitted no later than February 29. Please note that we will not be able to include all contributions.
We urge you to join us in providing a resource for the Jewish community that will help us all to process and celebrate this upcoming holiday – finding joy and allowing ourselves to experience sadness, and connecting to the Divine and each other, perhaps in different ways in the new world we are experiencing.
Thank you for sharing this with others as well.
Am Yisrael Chai!

Jan 10, 2024

Am Yisrael Chai: Essays, Prayers, and Poems (Volumes One and Two)

amazon.com/dp/B0CN5YBXTT


Am Yisrael Chai is a Two-Volume emergency response anthology of voices from all over the world, grieving and writhing from the horrors perpetrated upon the State of Israel on Simchat Torah 5784, October 7, 2023. Unfathomably terrible images are now forever emblazoned in our eyes, spread through social media where children have seen them as well. We bear witness. We must. This is a book of testimony and recollection, response and prayer. In the immediate aftermath of trauma, one cannot be expected to be thoughtful, mindful, creative. And yet this Two-Volume collection of soulful and eloquent expressions of pain and Global Jewish Solidarity makes the choice of title for this collection even more clear, and emphatic: Am Yisrael Chai! (Reviewed at JewishForwardJewishSF)

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Shavuot: The Torah of Tenacious Love