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Showing posts from August, 2016

Amazing things are happening at Congregation Netivot Shalom!

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Amazing things are happening at Congregation Netivot Shalom, as we prepare for an electric year. Beyond regular classes like Wed Torah study and Thursday Talmud class, the programming for Adults, Youth, and Families is simply off the charts! For instance: August 21 (5:30pm), CNS presents "The Marriage Plot", a book talk with the amazing Naomi Seidman! (

Gold Gestapo Gun is Headed to Auction

Gold Gestapo Gun is Headed to Auction
August 17, 2016By Rabbi Menachem Creditor

in the Daily Jewish Forward
http://forward.com/scribe/347912/gold-gestapo-gun-is-headed-to-auction/
Screenshot from Rockislandauction.com Rock Island Auction Company is putting the gold-plated semiautomatic pistol of a notorious Nazi war criminal up for bid in September. A golden Nazi gun. It is estimated that Hermann Goering’s Walther PPK will sell for $250,000 to $400,000. But wait; there’s more: The Rock Island Auction is also sponsoring and a “Freedom Challenge” to raise $1M for the NRA. Rock Island’s own description of the Freedom Challenge reads: “The Supreme Court’s greatest Second Amendment advocate — Justice Antonin Scalia — has passed away, leaving a vacancy on the Court that the next president will fill. Simply put, our firearm and other freedoms hang in the balance and it will take an army of us to take a stand.” Let me state this even clearer: a gold-plated gun that once belonged to the founder of…

Four Years After Ghana

Four Years After Ghana
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor with immeasurable gratitude to AJWS for opening my eyesFour years ago my soul was torn apart and I was redefined by my exposure to the world as it is. I stood among redeemed slaves in Ghana, and saw how little I knew, confronted with my own limits and with the sudden, blinding knowledge of my own power and responsibility. I pledged, right then and there, to hear and see and feel with my one raw heart as much as I possibly could, so that I might act rightly in the world and have no reason for shame nor reproach at the end of my days. Today I affirm that commitment and cry freely with the recognition that, despite my best efforts, it will never be enough. Our task is to serve and to lift this broken world of ours one inch closer to heaven, for our children's sakes, and for theirs as well. May we do good during our numbered days.

Jerusalem Sits Alone: Tisha Be'Av at the Olympics

Jerusalem Sits Alone: Tisha Be'Av at the Olympics
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
http://rabbicreditor.blogspot.com/2016/08/jerusalem-sits-alone-tisha-beav-at.html


I truly wish not to write this piece. But I know some will read a status update and dismiss it as exaggeration. At the Rio Olympics this week, Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to shake his Israeli opponent's hand. The video is painful to watch, not only because it is mean and unworthy, public and shameful. It is painful to watch, because the mission of the Olympics is are supposed to demonstrate sportsmanship and recognition: The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. - Olympic Charter This is all too-often, in my experience, the way Israel is despised in the world. And befor…

From Mechon Hadar: Tisha B'Av 5776: Essay and Resources

Tisha B'Av: Essay and Resources
Breaking Through The Facade of Normalcy: Shabbat Tisha B'Av
Rabbi Aviva Richman
Shabbat Tisha B'Av grants us the opportunity to ask ourselves whether our facade of normalcy might be too impervious to events that should shock us, and how to express our shock and dismay without giving up on living our lives.

A Wounded Friend: A Rabbinic Response to the New Black Lives Matter Platform

A Wounded Friend: A Rabbinic Response to the New Black Lives Matter Platform
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
http://rabbicreditor.blogspot.com/2016/08/a-wounded-friend-rabbinic-response-to.html

I had a beautiful day today. I stood with  my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.

I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.

Too. Much. War.

The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…