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Showing posts from June, 2013

the blessed burden

the blessed burden (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor with unending gratitude to American Jewish World Service
through sharing pain over and over emotions catch up. 
telling the story over and over  furthers purpose  and deepens ache. 
the blessed burden doesn't drag down; it renders every action cosmic.

New Republic: "This Is How the NRA Ends"

This Is How the NRA Ends A bigger, richer, meaner gun-control movement has arrived by Alec MacGillis | May 28, 2013Source URL:
photo credit: Associated Press On April 17, the bill to expand background checks on gun buyers failed in the Senate, and the fatalistic shrugs in Washington were so numerous they were nearly audible. The legislation had been a modest bipartisan compromise, supported by 90 percent of the public and lobbied for hard by the president. A group backed by Michael Bloomberg had spent $12 million on ads pressuring senators to vote “yes.” When the bill fell short—by just five votes—it seemed to confirm a Beltway article of faith: There’s no point messing with the National Rifle Association (NRA). And that, many assumed, was the last we’d be hearing about gun reform.
But then something unexpected happened. Some of the senators who’d voted “no” faced furious voters back home. Even be…

A Shul in a Forest: A Ramah Haiku

A Shul in a Forest: A Ramah Haiku © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I can see the trees
right outside the closed window.
Pews don't sway with wind.

from Keshet: Mazel Tov! #LoveIsLove

Two years ago this summer, I stood under a chuppah with my wife. Because we live in Massachusetts, we are "lucky" that our relationship is recognized by our state. However, under the current law, we are denied 1,138 federal rights that our straight friends are automatically granted when they wed. Today, this discrimination is over! We are elated that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of fairness and equality by striking down DOMA and Prop 8. Our ancient Jewish values teach us that we all are created B'tzelem Elohim (in God's Image) and our current laws violated this sacred principle by refusing to recognize and protect LGBTQ relationships. The overwhelming majority of American Jews support equal marriage (81%, 2012 Public Religion Research Institute) and this is a proud day for us all. On this anniversary, I celebrate not only our relationship, but the hundreds of thousands of other LGBTQ Americans who will be able to access this fundamental right. Throughout the day, we w…

t/y Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler for sharing this: "“I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day.” — E. B. White, author of Charlotte's Web and Elements of Style"

Ynetnews: "Yesh Atid bill: Israel should be Jewish by law"

Yesh Atid bill: Israel should be Jewish by law MK Ruth Calderon submits bill giving Declaration of Independence status of basic law thus formally establishing State of Israel's Jewish character Moran Azulay Published: 06.25.13, 21:32 / Israel News,7340,L-4397044,00.html Yesh Atid 's Ruth Calderon has submitted a bill giving the Declaration of Independence the legal status of a basic law, formally establishing Israel as a Jewish state.

The bill was proposed as part of joint efforts with the Habayit Hayehudi party on a new "nation state" bill. This is the first time the Knesset has been asked to enact into law Israel's Jewish character.

In the explanation to the bill titled "Basic Law: The Declaration of Independence," Calderon states that "in the absence of a constitution, the Declaration of Independence is a legal document which establishes very important basic principles concerning the State's identity.

For years…

Pinchas 5773: "The Blessings of Brokenness"

Pinchas 5773: "The Blessings of Brokenness" 
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
The great Israeli poet Chaim Nachman Bialik once said that reading a translation is like kissing through a veil.  The beginning of Parashat Pinchas illustrates this quite clearly.  And not only does the biblical Hebrew lose its power refracted into the vernacular, but even if the Hebrew of a handheld Chumash is consulted, there is much missing which can only be experienced by direct contact with the Torah scroll itself.
First the language.  We read (translate) the following:
"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Phinchas, son of Elazar son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the Israelites by displaying among them his jealousy for Me, so that I did not wipe out the Israelite people in My Jealousy. Say, therefore, 'I grant him My 'Covenant of Shalom'. It shall be for him and his descendants after him a pact of priesthood for all time, because he was jealous for his God, t…

My OpEd in the J: "Sadly, Conservative Judaism’s lead ship is sinking fast"

Sadly, Conservative Judaism's lead ship is sinking fast
by rabbi menachem creditor

In February 1913, Rabbi Solomon Schechter founded the United Synagogue of America — which in 1991 became the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism — to "advance the cause of traditional Judaism in America and strengthen the conservative tendency in Israel."
Schechter's vision of traditional Judaism lives on in communities, but the organization he founded has lost its mandate to fulfill this mission.
Last week, USCJ closed down Koach, the college outreach organization of the Conservative movement. One of many anguished Conservative Jewish college students on Facebook interpreted this as the USCJ "signing their own death warrant."
Were this the only recent experience of the USCJ cutting off its own future, one would already worry. But Koach is not an exception to the rule. It demons…