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A new TOI piece from Camp Ramah: "When it All Comes Together"

When it All Comes Together

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/when-it-all-comes-together/#
I sat with a dozen boys and their counselors, singing to them and telling them stories. Harga'ot are a sweet bedtime ritual at Camp Ramah, and I've been part of this beautiful practice many, many times. But tonight was different in a few staggering ways, and the least I can do is share the gratitude welling up in my heart through these words.
The songs were an eclectic blend of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Garth Brooks, Rabbi David Paskin, and Joey Weisenberg, mixed in with one or two of my own. The story was my favorite, a defining one I learned along my journey towards becoming rabbi. The setting was the children's Mo'adon (lounge) at Camp Ramah in Northern California.
One song was a musical adaptation of the classic Chassidic story of a young boy who whistles during prayers instead of reciting the Hebrew words. People around the boy (including the Rabbi) are annoyed, but the  boy explains…

Grace, Grace... Please, God, Grace...

wind and spirit [a #poem]

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wind and spirit
(c) rabbi menachem creditor
stars of the sky glimmering, shining, sometimes hidden
their light graces, each in its own unique way, long after their time has passed.
clouds and closed eyes obfuscate
but
with enough wind and spirit awaiting light
will shine through it all.

When the Desert Sings: Bamidbar

The Way Up [a #poem]

the way up
© rabbi menachem creditor
for samyou might think these
tears of descent
and yet, as they fall
everything ascends raw sounds pierce the air
beyond and before words
quiet trembling,
familiar disequilibrium,
a promise made once again...new moment
new possibilities
new lifefinding a new perch
made easier
with each shed hot droplet. #BuildOnLove #life #chooselife #cry #live #love #returnagain

Can't stop, won't stop. Making welcome bags for Refugees, as part of the East Bay Tikkun Olam Chesed Day! #RefugeesWelcome #refugeecrisis #chesed #tikkunolam

Those Whose Hearts Call

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Those Whose Hearts Call
Rabbi Menachem Creditor To look from the outside at Congregation Netivot Shalom, one would think that an army of employees were behind the scenes, creating and implementing our vibrant programs and ritual life. The glory of our community is the ongoing commitment to participatory leadership. Yes, the tasks involved in leading an institution, supporting our 400+ membership, and maintaining our beautiful building on University Avenue - Berkeley, surpass the capacity of our historic model. The needs are just too much for the infrastructure we currently have in place. But that will always be the case, even when our system catches up with the needs we know about. But isn’t that glorious? To be a community that “invites you to engage in a cross-generational discovery of Jewish inspiration and purpose,” as our mission statement reminds us, means that we desire to grow and dream and build and love more and more. Which means that, if we’re blessed to succeed in our missi…