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Showing posts from June, 2012

A Misheberach for Cathy Shadd Rosenfeld

A Misheberach for Cathy Shadd Rosenfeld Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Misheberach Avoteinu Avraham Yiztchak veYa'akov, ve'Imoteinu Sarah Rivkah, Rachel, veLeah – May the One who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless our friend, our teacher Cathy Shadd Rosenfeld, who has, through the passion of her heart, the devotion of her soul, and the skill of her pedagogy, brought so many of us closer to Torah.
Please, God, as Cathy continues to support our community, may she know a fraction of the holiness she has helped others achieve. Help the teachers who will follow her learn from that which she has built. 
Adonai, we pray that the many generations who have encountered Cathy's Torah-teaching become themselves Torah-transmitters, so that our community's children and grown-ups will continue to find safe spaces for their own Jewish growth.
We thank You, God, for the fruitful privilege of learning Torah. We thank You for the …

Rabbi Creditor: Thoughts on the Year Gone By

A Note from Rabbi Creditor Thoughts on the Year Gone By Quick LinksCNS Homepage The CNS Blog CNS Preschool Religious School Rabbi Creditor's Blog Make a Donation!
9 Tammuz, 5772 -- June 29, 2012 Dear Chevreh, What a year this has been.  One year ago our precious community was gearing up for the fight of its life. And, thanks to the accumulated wisdom of leaders spanning our 23-year history as a shul, we are surely and steadily fighting that good fight to ensure the future of Netivot Shalom. Institutional stability is not the "why" for which our community was created, nor is it the reason more and more people are finding a home at Netivot Shalom. We are a holy place full of holy people, each one doing their part in laying one more brick on the "Paths of Peace" for which we named. Netivot Shalom's "why" is, will be, and always has been too inspiring for words. I sit in my office this Erev Shab

Music's Power

Music's Power
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Music's Power
shatters equilibrium,
draws hot tears,
defies language's limitations,
spans the firmament,
conjures times long gone,
and refills a heart's dwindling reserves.

Are you ready to let it in?
Are you brave enough to sing?

Rabbinical Assembly Statement upon the Supreme Court's upholding the Affordable Health Care Act

Affordable Care Act Upheld The Supreme Court today decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act. We released the following statement in response:President Obama entered office on a message of hope for all Americans, modeled most clearly in the vision of affordable health care. Americans without access to affordable health care cannot sustain hope for themselves nor for their families. The President's vision is consistent with Jewish tradition, which is unambiguous about the requirement of a just and decent society to provide a basic level of health care. We are gratified to see that American society, whose values we also cherish, also lives up to this standard... (Read more)Additional resources on health care:Health care source sheetResolutions on health care: 2011 | 2008 | 2002Julie Schonfeld's March op-ed on health care [Washington Post]Responsibilities for the Provision of Health Care, a 1998 teshuvah by Elliot Dorff and Aaron Mackler

Proud to announce my new Yom Kippur kids' book "Avodah: A Yom Kippur Story" - a rhyming riff on the kohen gadol's perspective of the Avodah service. Enjoy!

I'm proud to announce my new Yom Kippur kids' book "Avodah: A Yom Kippur Story" -  a rhyming riff on the kohen gadol's perspective of the Avodah service. Enjoy!

Ample Love

Ample Love
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Sharing Love begins
when there is
ample love within one
to share.

Love within one
is what it means to
be chosen.

Being chosen
frees one to choose
another chosen one
with ample love within.

Chosen-ness is at its best
when it is open to
seeing itself in others.

Today is a Bad Day for Judaism in Israel

Today is a Bad Day for Judaism in Israel (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I hesitate before writing this piece, because I am afraid that someone will misread my anger at Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar as anything but love for the State of Israel. But I write nonetheless, because today is a very bad day for Judaism in Israel.
A letter issued on official Israeli government stationery by Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar today called for a rally at his office this coming Tuesday. As the official response by the Masorti/Conservative Rabbinical Assembly put it: "The language used in the statement is inflammatory and inciting, referring to our members as 'terrorists' whose 'sole intention is to do harm to the holiness of Torah.'" How dare he! And how dare the State of Israel extend to him his title! He does not represent the People Israel.And just now in Jerusalem, Police detained a woman at the Western Wall for over three hours after she and 65 other women fr…

From the #RabbinicalAssembly: A Statement on Incitement by Israeli Chief Rabbi Amar -- @rabbiassembly

June 2012 - Tammuz 5772
Incitement by Chief Rabbi Amar The Rabbinical Assembly is outraged by a letter issued on official Israeli government stationery by Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar calling for a rally at his office this coming Tuesday. The language used in the statement is inflammatory and inciting, referring to our members as "terrorists" whose "sole intention is to do harm to the holiness of Torah." The State of Israel and the Jewish people have learned the most bitter lesson in the murder of our beloved Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin (z"l) that incendiary language can result in devastating consequences. We speak as a worldwide Conservative community in demanding that this threat to Masorti rabbis' physical safety, not only their personal integrity, be defended. The Talmud (Arakhin 15b) teaches that hateful speech has the potential to kill. Rabbi Amar's language places all Jewish people at risk of violence, all because Israeli Attorn…

Fwd: [Shefa] more on Koach: "Congratulations Koach Supporters. Now what?" (cross-post with jewschool) Koach Supporters. Now what?by[]·Wednesday, June 20th, 2012I recently wrote aboutUSCJ's proposal to defund their college student program, KOACH. As typical for USCJ, this plan was made without much public discussion. Even after the proposal became public, theonly formal USCJ responsewas essentially:We wanted to make this decision behind closed doors, but someone leaked our discussion to the press. We appreciate the public discussion this has generated and, in the future, hope do a better job keeping more of our discussions regarding Koach behind closed doors.
Also as expected, people who support Koach protested. Also as typical for USCJ, their board decided it was easier to vote against the plan and continue funding Koach this year rather than ma…

A Geniza Kavannah

A Geniza Kavannah (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

inspired by Lisa Orson, 
and with gratitude to Sinai Memorial Chapel
[to be recited before burying sacred Jewish items]

Though we are saying goodbye to you, our sacred items,
we say "Hadran Alach - we will return to you."

Through reading and experiencing what you contain and suggest, we have grown as human beings and as Jews. We have discovered more about God and the world through the gifts you were. May we be blessed to learn ever more, knowing that wherever we find ourselves on our Jewish journeys, we have reached this far thanks to you.

We gently place you in the earth, reuniting you with the raw creation to which all things return. In the names of all Jewish students and teachers who were, are, and will be, we humbly thank you.

Korach 5772/2012: "Trust"

Korach 5772/2012: "Trust"
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The story of Korach might not seem obvious for discussing relationships.  After all, Korach and his followers, after contesting the rights of Moses and Aaron to lead the Israelite people, were devoured when

"the ground under them burst asunder, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households. ...They went down alive into Sheol, with all that belonged to them; the earth closed over them and they vanished from the midst of the congregation.(Num. 16:31-33)"  
Not what we pray for in healthy relationships, to say the least. And yet there is a message to be learned, perhaps in contrast to the Torah's narrative. What was Korach's crime? What was so awful that it merited this devastating a response? Korach, a cousin Moses and Aaron, rose up

"against Moses, together with two hundred and fifty Israelites, chieftains of the community, chosen in the assembly, men of repute. They combined…

Upcoming Events @CNS!

Upcoming CNS Events! CNS Geniza-thon!  We have a Geniza at shul, a hidden holding-place for documents inscribed with God's Name. If you yourselves have any holy Jewish items requiring burial, please bring them to shul office by Tuesday Morning. Learn more here! New Adult Class:"Jerusalem's Destruction and God: The Book of Eicha/Lamentations (July 24th & 25th) with Rabbi Creditor learn more here! This Wednesday at 7:15am! 
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Minyan! With the month of Tammuz, we begin the period of consolation and reflection that culminates in the following month's observance of Tisha b'Av. With the fast of Tzom Tammuz, which falls this year on July 8th, we remember Nebuchadnezzar's breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, one of the events that led to the destruction of the First Temple. Please join us for this Rosh Chodesh observance and help to make a minyan, so that the Torah can be read. Registration is open for the

What do we do with "Sacred Trash?"

A Note from Rabbi Creditor What do we do with "Sacred Trash?" CNS Website / CNS Blog / CNS Calendar / CNS Preschool / Shorashim Hebrew School Amitim / Midrasha / CNS Adult Education / Make a donation to Netivot Shalom! 25 Sivan, 5772 - June 15, 2012 Dear Chevreh, a document from the Cairo Geniza We have a Geniza at shul, a hidden holding-place for documents inscribed with God's Name. The adding of specific Hebrew names for God onto paper transforms them into something more than they were. The same can be true, I believe, in a person's life. Jewish tradition guides us to collect those changed-things, and to treat them with reverence. We do not throw them away as we would "common" things (though we continue to learn that considering any of our world's resources as "common" invites additional problems, with potentially cosmic implications).  The sheer volume of Jewish text-learning we do at Netivot Shalom does create the need for Solomon Schechter explori…