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Showing posts from January, 2013

Healing the Soul of America from Gun Violence: Lifelines to Healing Clergy Statement @PICOnetwork #nowisthetime

Healing the Soul of America from Gun Violence Lifelines to Healing Clergy Statement
We share in the outrage growing from every corner of our nation that we have abandoned our young people to the clutches of violence fueled by greed, fear and our despair. We bear witness to the deep pain of our nation's people, whose loved ones are dying needlessly in our communities across the land, that our God commands we speak out about the sanctity of all life and affirm that all have the right to live in peace and safety. We further assert that people of faith everywhere are commanded by our God to work tirelessly and in coalition with one another across racial lines, class and place line, age and gender lines to vigorously confront the proliferation and increasing lethality of guns in our neighborhoods and cities, towns and streets, malls and schools.
We affirm that every life is precious in the eyes of our creator and our God has no pleasure in the death of anyone. We are committed to uniting a…

#bendthearc: Speak Out on Gun Violence! Interfaith Call-in day is Feb 4th! @piconetwork #nowisthetime

Since the terrible shooting in Newtown, CT, we have been thinking about how to act as a Jewish voice for a nation safe from gun violence. This is an issue that affects all Americans, and disproportionately affects poor communities. We must take action.Bend the Arc has joined "Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence," a coalition of more than 40 groups that formed two years ago to confront our nation's gun violence epidemic.Next Monday, February 4, we will join in "Faiths Calling," a national call-in day designed to show members of Congress that there is a powerful demand from people of all faiths for federal action to prevent gun violence. Please mark your calendar to join in this effort, and commit to using just a few minutes of your time on Monday to make your voice heard. Then, please share this request with your friends, family and colleagues so that we can make as strong a showing as possible. Gun violence prevention laws, no matter how reason…

JCPA: End Gun Violence Week of Action

Dear Friend,
This has been an eventful week in our campaign to prevent gun violence.  Yesterday, I attend the Senate Judiciary Committee's first hearing on changes to our gun laws.  The hearing was very moving and included a JCPA friend former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her husband Captain Mark Kelly, and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  Several bills have been introduced and we have joined a broad range of organizations in a national coalition to focus our efforts.

Yesterday we also launched the start of the JCPA's Twitter campaign urging the Senate to #VoteOnGuns. While yesterday's hearing is an encouraging sign, an actual vote on the comprehensive approach we all have called for is uncertain. If you use twitter, join us and a coalition of other national organizations to tweet at Senators Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) and Chuck Grassley (@ChuckGrassley), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to move quickly and ensure a #Voteo…

said simply: gun violence in america is a problem. we all agree about that.

said simply: gun violence in america is a problem. we can all agree about that. Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The last thing in the world we should want is uniformity: theological, ideological, or other. That kind of fundamentalism is a destructive force, is the worst part of religion, of politics, of philosophy. The world needs safe places for measured conversations, where "one side" truly listens to "the other side." As compromise is the art of the possible, none of the measures we might accomplish as a country responding to gun violence will include everything anyone champions, nor will "purists" feel satisfied by the likely results ahead. But we should not sacrifice the good we can do on the altar of the perfect we can't yet reach. Said simply: Gun Violence in America is a Problem. We can all agree about that. We might not all agree about how to respond, but we must all agree that we must respond.

Please take a minute to watch Gabby Giffords' powerful speech, and then call on your members of Congress to take action to end gun violence.

Gabby Giffords made deeply moving opening remarks at today's Senate hearing on gun violence. This was the first hearing on guns since President Obama stepped forward with his recommendations, and Former Congresswoman Giffords made the most of the opportunity to call on members of Congress to take action now:
“We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”Please take a minute to watch Gabby Giffords' powerful speech, and then call on your members of Congress to take action to end gun violence.
Former Congresswoman Giffords and her husband Captain Mark Kelly called on Congress to take immediate action.

Here’s what Congress can do right now to reduce gun violence:
Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in this country.
Stop the sale of military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Make gun trafficking a federal crime with harsh penalties. These are simple solutions that wil…

Video of the Interfaith clergy statement on gun violence @PICOnetwork #nowisthetime @whitehouse

Rabbis: Contribute a Reflection for the forthcoming new collection: "Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence"

An Invitation to Rabbis: Contribute a Reflection for the forthcoming new collection: "Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence"
The current American conversation about gun violence is overwhelming and we know something has to be done. Newtown might garner national attention, but in our cities, 33 Americans die as a result of Gun Violence EVERY DAY. Religious leaders in urban and suburban areas are connecting and supporting each other, helping and supporting our congregations, and are an important part of the fabric of our country.

A compilation entitled "Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence", edited by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, will be released in the coming weeks - it will be available on and as a Kindle e-book. All written contributions are donations, as the goal is to open people's hearts, not make money. "Prophets vs. Profits", perhaps.

Contributions (700-1000 words) in the form of Drashot, Essays, and personal Storie…

WashingtonPost "Diverse clergy group launches effort to curb urban violence" @piconetwork #nowisthetime "Diverse clergy group launches effort to curb urban violence" @piconetwork #nowisthetimeHamil Harris/TWP - Religious leaders from across the country and spectrum of faith gathered on Capitol Hill for a new campaign aimed at guns in the streets. The event was sponsored by Lifelines to Healing, a faith-based network of community organizers that started in 1972. Text SizePrintE-mailReprints By , Tuesday, January 29, 4:30 PM A diverse national coalition of faith groups on Tuesday launched an initiative aimed at curbing the bloody tide of violence and gun-related deaths that has plagued cities across the country for decades. “We have a moral imperative to heal our souls from this scourge of gun violence,” said Pastor Michael McBride, head of the Lifelines to Healing campaign, which comes under th…

Fierce Feelings

Fierce Feelings (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

I. Prophecy is Dead
No one listens. But then again, no one ever has.
But the Call  is somehow changed: the willingness  to call and be called  has faded.
The Prophets  felt fiercely couldn't hold it back couldn't be held back shouted spoke whispered cried.
Prophets don't want their jobs. Never did.
But something has changed: Prophets have forgotten they're prophets.
II. Who are my elders?
I pour out my heart and the family of my birth only sees words, wondering what I mean, questioning diction, deaf to my heart.
I nod my head along with my tribe. We don't look much alike, but I know my brothers and sisters by the vibrations of their souls.
Who are my elders?
III. Before or Later
Maybe in a past life he tells me, maybe...
I wear tzitzis, today, in this life.
But he tells me I might have been "a little darker" before.
I say maybe one day, later.

A Prophetic Response to Gun Violence

A Prophetic Response to Gun Violence
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor in brotherhood with Pastor Michael McBride
for more Gun Violence Resources, click here.
In this moment, my friends, what does God want of us? What are we called to do, in the face of great devastation, some of which receives our nation’s attention, most of which doesn’t? How can we, in our efforts to extend God’s Healing to our sisters and brothers, address Gun Violence, a terrible tear in the fabric of our nation?
What is a Prophet? How does she hear the Divine Weeping and call God’s children to awareness and action?
Hear the call of Isaiah, who reminded us that God wants, more than anything else, for us to
"…unlock the fetters of wickedness, untie the cords of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into our homes; When you see the naked, clothe him, and do not ignore your own brother.(Isaiah 58:6-7)"
The great Rabbi Abraha…

Rabbi Eric Yoffie on #Haaretz: "Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: U.S. Jews are fed up with not being valued"

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: U.S. Jews are fed up with not being valued In your post-election Knesset speech, address directly the Reform and Conservative majority of American Jews - the heart of our Jewish family and the core of Jewish support for Israel – and who are finished being understanding and patient while Israel’s official representatives offend them and denigrate their religious practices... (read more here)

Gun Violence: The Response I Support

Gun Violence: The Response I Support
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
for more Article and Resources on Gun Violence, click here

My response to Gun Violence is not a rejection of the unfortunate need for arms as a matter of self-defense. I reject the willing embrace of violence.

As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, in the final sermon he would ever deliver, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution:
“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or non-existence.”1) I reject the NRA-backed US legislation precluding a national gun-registry. (see Jon Stewart's satirical analysis here). 

2) I reject the sale of semi-automatic guns provided by businesses like WalmartBig 5 for the absurd claim that they are 'hunting' guns. As Rev. Gary Hall put it:
"I don’t want to take away someone’s hunting rifle but I can no longer justify a society that allows people other than military and police to own weapons like these,” he said, pointing…

This Sunday at 6pm!: "Crime After Crime" Film screening and discussion with Director Yoav Potash

Film Screening & Discussion
with Director Yoav Potash 

Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
Jan 27th, 6pm screening, 7:30pm discussion
$5 requested donation

In 1983, Deborah Peagler, a woman brutally abused by her boyfriend, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for her connection to his murder. Twenty years later, as she languished in prison, a California law allowing incarcerated domestic-violence survivors to reopen their cases was passed. Enter a pair of rookie land-use attorneys convinced that with the incontrovertible evidence that existed, they could free Deborah in a matter of months. What they didn't know was the depth of corruption and politically driven resistance they'd encounter, sending them down a nightmarish, bureaucratic rabbit hole of injustice. The outrageous twists and turns in this consummately crafted saga are enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Meanwhile, the spirit, fortitude, and love all three characters marshal in the face of this wrenching m…

For Their Shoes...

For Their Shoes...
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor in support of the Albany High School community
For their shoes, Adonai. For their damn shoes. Shoes, Adonai!
Three children were shot for their shoes. Their shoes, Adonai!
Is this Your world? The world you envisioned? Where people shoot each other  for shoes?!
It's not that we won't hurt each other with  hands, sticks, rocks, cars, words... But guns in the hands  of those who would  shoot someone over  shoes...
Adonai, it's too late for us to say  You should have done better. But You should have.
Now it's our turn. Now is the time.

Yair Lapid's words tell us it's time to Rally for a Sane, Pluralist Israel!

The (charedi) Jewish Press Covered this story without editorializing. But the comments include "This dude is more dangerous than Iran." and "Bilaam is alive and well in Israel. "Rise up HaShem, confront him and bring him to his knees; rescue my soul from the wicked one who is Your sword." If Lapid passes all these things in the government, war will be on its way to Israel very soon."

Read The Article and The Comments Here: -- Yair Lapid, Israel's Rising Star, Is Still Great Unknown in Washington Yair Lapid, Israel's Rising Star, Is Still Great Unknown in Washington Newcomer Lived in L.A., But Has Scant Ties to Establishment GETTY IMAGES Fresh Face: Yair Lapid, the man of the moment in Israel, is still widely unknown in Washington policy circles.
By Nathan Guttman
Published January 23, 2013 -

Few in America have a close acquaintance with Yair Lapid, Israel's new political kingmaker and a top contender for the post of foreign minister in a new Israeli government soon to be formed.

Lapid, who emerged as the nation's new political star, winning 19 Knesset seats in the January 22 elections, has spent time working in the United States and has taken on the issue of religious pluralism in Israel, a topic dear to many American Jewish activists. But he is still a great unknown, especially to policymakers and analysts trying to assess his views on the Middle E…

JCCPA: Next Up in the Campaign to End Gun Violence

Gun Violence Inauguration 2013
Elections in Israel
What's next in the campaign to end gun violence? Last week was a momentous week in the campaign to end gun violence. President Obama announced a package of 23 executive actions and a series of legislative proposals that he is asking Congress to act on. Together these measures, which include universal background checks and bans on certain types of weapons and attachments would limit the quantity and lethality of guns in our country as well as keep them out of the wrong hands.

The JCPA welcomed this announcement and praised the proposals for reflecting the comprehensive approach called for in the JCPA's petition at,, which has garnered more than 16,000 signatures.

So what comes next?

Last Saturday was Gun Appreciation Day around the country. The JCPA is asking that you help…