Posts

the prophets' boutique [a #poem]

the prophets' boutique [a #poem]
© rabbi menachem creditor walk with me
through downtown Jerusalem
this Friday afternoon
see through these wide, crying eyes
the miraculous art
of Ben Gurion's dreams:Hebrew lotto signs
ever-present Jewish cranes
King George's great synagogue
(though the truly great ones
never need to say so) can't take one step
not even one
without noticing it allmanhole covers and exquisite flowers
spikey signs and rabbinic schwarma
overwhelm meyears ago, I sat right here
soldiers and Pre-Shabbat shoppers
passing by (maybe the same ones!)
I wept then and weep now
over their very existence
each of them a treasure. (three Israeli girls just asked two chabadniks if they could put on tefilin. that's new.) King David could have never imagined
the prophets' boutique
he founded. I just can't stop seeing
can barely imagine blinking
I'd miss something These broken stones feel somehow stable beneath my feet. They're always shifting, …

My Souvenir Prophet 

My Souvenir Prophet 
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor How is any of this possible? As I type on a smartphone hooked up to the Tel Aviv/Jerusalem bus Wi-Fi, I reflect on my first almost-24-hours in Israel on this, my 30th pilgrimage home. From that first trip for my post-high school gap year on Nativ Israel, to this one coleading the AIPAC #Progressive #Rabbis Mission to Israel for the fourth time, my eyes and soul keep being overwhelmed by.... well, everything. Perhaps what typifies this trip was a strange, brief encounter that happened on the street just an hour ago. I stood with with my sister and baby niece on the sidewalk next to the site where Yitzhak Rabin z"l was assassinated. The site has become holier to me than the Kotel for many, many reasons. Just over 2 years ago, I brought my children to this place on a Shabbat morning, and watched as they gleefully played with the pigeons, my precious Jewish children laughing with enduring Israeli doves. For me, that made this place holie…

for whom and how Torah is given

for whom and how Torah is given
© rabbi menachem creditor

It is not for those inhabitants of comfortable, air-conditioned halls of study that spiritual practice was devised.

Those luxurious palaces of meaning are furnished with chairs and tables, bookshelves and coffee makers. Those seeking mastery there sit and pore and pour. They arrived at the doors of depth by choice. The depths from which they call are real and can be thorny, but by dint of their very access to the recorded treasures of the spirit, they have already made it.

No, dear ones, Torah was not given for them.

No, Torah was given for the souls waiting in hot, cramped, subway stations, challenged to be kind to each other while sweating in discomfort, making effort to not push each other aside in search of cooler air.

Wait. No, not for them, actually.

Torah was given for those poor souls outside the subway station, clothes melting off them in the sweltering heat. Yes, the messages of the holy Torah were given for those who …

Attacked from Within: A New HuffPost Piece

Image
Attacked from Within Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Huffington Post - 07/12/2017
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59669d63e4b0524d8fa7fab1 In just a few days, I leave for Israel, ready to co-lead the AIEF/AIPAC Progressive Rabbinic Mission for the fourth time. These amazing trips have been defined in different and profound ways each summer: the Gaza war, the Iran Nuclear “deal,” and stabbing and ramming terrorist attacks. I have returned after each mission more committed to Israel’s security, more aware of the existential threats Israel faces, more appreciative of the inner dynamics of Israel’s society. I had hoped this summer would be a calmer trip. But, to my great dismay, this year, we rabbis head to Israel assaulted by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, an arm of Israel’s government. READ MORE HERE...

On Independence: Freedom For

Image
On Independence: Freedom For
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor 
"We men and women are all in the same boat, upon a stormy sea. We owe to each other a terrible and tragic loyalty." - G.K Chesterton
If I am to emancipate myself, we must emancipate each other. But, if I am to emancipate anyone, I must see each and every other anew, be(come) open to the possibility that someone besides me is in pain. And, if I am to(come) open to the possibility of the pain of another, just acknowledge my own.  Today, what is independence? We should desire no rockets' red glare, no gleaming empire. We should desire no borders that keep out young Afghani students, nor leaders who despise the free press. Are the rights to threaten and discriminate an independence worthy of the sacrifice of the men and women who defend us? 
And what of the flag, colors of America's freedom. For whom does that banner yet wave? For three fifths of some of us? The answer is far from clear, two hundred and forty-one year…

Opening Prayer for One America Movement Board Meeting (6/29/17)

Image
Opening Prayer for One America Movement Board Meeting (6/29/17)(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor http://werepair.org/oneamerica/

Dear God, Creator Who Binds us All to One Another,

We ask for Your help this day. We know that there is no rest for the righteous. So we do not ask for rest. But we do ask for Your strength in our spirits as we engage in this sacred work as sisters and brothers.

We, as leaders of the One America Movement, dedicate ourselves to rebuilding our country, to repairing our world, and, perhaps most importantly, to we promise do all of this together.

We stand against the callousness that manifests as a readiness to see “the other” as “less than.” Mindful of Your Image in the faces of every human being, we are acknowledge that every voice on every side of every issue is obligated as one to start the work of reweaving the fabric of America faster than anyone might unravel it.

Your many Names are One, and so shall we be.

Please God, help us keep fierce feeling alive in our souls.

a new essay on HuffPost: "On the Outside Looking In: Reflections of a Jew Wounded by Israel"

Image
On the Outside Looking In: Reflections of a Jew Wounded by IsraelRabbi Menachem Creditor http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5952cacbe4b0f078efd985a9 Today hurts so very terribly. Love shouldn’t hurt like this. With twin efforts to tyrannize the Western Wall and to weaponize Jewish conversion, the State of Israel is actively hurting the Jewish People, and it is worse than wrong. It is not wrong born of ignorance. It is knowing, willful abuse within our Jewish family. I was having a hard time formulating the thoughts of my aching soul, and so I turned to a colleague and friend, Myra Meskin... continue reading here