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Showing posts from November, 2015

VaYeshev 5776/2015: The Threat of Serenity

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VaYeshev 5776/2015: "The Threat of Serenity" Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Huffington Post
11/30/2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-menachem-creditor/the-threat-of-serenity_b_8676908.html
The inspiration for this reflection came from a conversation many years ago with a friend about their love of skiing. I've never skied, and I never intend to ski. In fact, I don't understand why anyone does. It seems to me that the things all skiers have in common are the bruises and broken bones inevitably acquired in the winter months. Which is what I mentioned to my friend, who explained to me that, for him, skiing is a chance to relax and feel at peace. This was even more strange for me to hear, because when I relax, I like to do nothing. I spend most of my waking hours thinking and working and doing, and so when I can find a free moment I just love settling down into a comfortable chair with a cup of tea and either read a book or fall asleep. The tension between these two ways o…

A Prayer for the #BlackFriday14

A Prayer for the #BlackFriday14 Offered as part of the Interfaith Service and Rally, Wiley Manuel Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland, CA, Nov. 25, 2015 © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
inspired by Pastor Michael McBride, Yehudah Amichai, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement
Dearest God,
We stand before you because we must.
We stand before You because truths that should be self-evident are not so evident in our country.
Fourteen Black community activists participated in an act of civil disobedience one year ago at the West Oakland BART station, disrupting economic business as usual in the best tradition of our great society. They did this as part of nationwide protests to demand dignity and respect for all Black lives.
And, for this, the District Attorney's office filed criminal charges. For the crime of demanding dignity through non-violent protest they face more serious consequences than many police of…

Black Lives Matter and the Beauty of Israel: Working on Both with One Soul

Black Lives Matter and the Beauty of Israel: Working on Both with One Soul
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
I'm participating in the #BlackFriday14 action tomorrow, praying desperately that the focus remains true to the principles of #BlackLivesMatter. Conflation of American systemic racism with the plight of Palestinians: makes it impossible for Jewish BLM activists who love Israel to share in the work,ignores the wide historical differences between a) the UN Charter that established two states for two Peoples and b) African slavery,denies the foundational universalism and democracy of Zionism and the right of Israel to exist,confuses the difficulty of living under the daily threat of violent terrorism against Israelis with the intent to deny human rights to Palestinians,ignores the many Israeli/Palestinian peacemakers whose work could be the very model for American healing we need,makes it infinitely harder for liberal Zionists to do the internal work necessary to end the Occupation o…

A Blessing for a Baby Born Prematurely

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A Blessing for a Baby Born Prematurely
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
My God,
this little soul (the child's name)
is pure.

Your sacred Image is manifest
in (the child's name),
forming and developing
unfolding
even as s/he is emerged and entered
into the world.

One day,
may it be far into the future,
this little soul will leave this world
and enter the next one.

May every moment
of this little one's life
be blessed
with love,
with health,
with life.

May s/he gain strength and resilience,
in and out,
body and soul.

I am grateful to you,
my God
God of every generation,
for this little one's life.

Blessed are You,
God who restores our souls
each day.

Amen.

Congregation Netivot Shalom Kashrut Policy (Adopted: Kislev 5769 / December 2008 )

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Congregation Netivot Shalom Kashrut Policy Adopted: Kislev 5769 / December 2008  For any question of Kashrut, please contact Rabbi Creditor.   http://netivotshalom.org/kashrut-policy/
Kavanah / Our Approach: The term "kosher" is a statement of purposefulness. Torah Scrolls, food, and choices can be "kosher" (or not).  This document deals primarily with our food guidelines but reflects the larger approach of healthy & holy living we teach and live at Netivot Shalom.  In other words, our integrated commitments to ethical, environmental, and ritual elevation are Kashrut standards by which we abide as a community.  While individual members of the congregation have a wide variety of observances in their own homes, we have adopted the following rules as our kashrut policy for events, and expect everyone who purchases or prepares food for shul functions to follow this Kashrut policy.
Note: Netivot Shalom allows only dairy and pareve food at events held on our premises.��…

What does it mean when we say 'terror won't win?'

What does it mean when we say 'terror won't win?'
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor What does it mean when we say 'terror won't win?' It means that we are commanded to live every second to its fullest, to devour with delight the marrow of life, to allow the sun to reach us through closed, grateful eyes, to see the light in each other's Divine Image, to urge the world one millimeter closer to fairness and justice, and to banish despair from our souls. Most of all, our response to something we experience as an attack on civilization must spur us to deepen our personal and communal commitments to build the world from Love faster than anyone can tear it down. עולם חסד יבנה/ Olam Chesed Yibaneh /  https://youtu.be/2C1XO1ABe5M
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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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What use is prayer, God? A Prayer During a Terror Attack in Paris

What use is prayer, God? A Prayer During a Terror Attack in Paris © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
What use is prayer, God, while Your children are killing each other? Your images are erasing each other, right now, on the streets of Paris, in markets and thaters and stadiums in Paris.
Dear God, What can prayer accomplish when hate and fear fill human hearts, life interrupted by global concern, all of us tweeting, reposting, images of flags, incomplete reports, sick to our hearts?
Dear God… Dear God…
If only there were a way to reach out beyond space, to connect one heart to the next until we remembered that we belong to each other…
If only our hearts’ ache for a world without hate could reach Yours….
If only…
There is a way, even during this moment of terror, through a deeper prayer than we’re used to making.
God, we need You and we know our fate isn’t up to You.
God, we pray, but not for You to save us. That won’t work.
God, we pray that You strengthen us.
Help us pray, Help us rag…

This Monday, November 16! "Religion and State in Israel: Why does it concern American Jewry?"

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Religion and State in Israel:  Why does it concern American Jewry?  featuring Rabbi Uri Regev,  President and CEO of Hiddush
Monday, November 16, 2015 7:00 pm reception and nosh 7:30 to 9:00 pm program

THIS FRIDAY! A special Ramah of Northern California Shabbat at Netivot Shalom!!!

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