August 23, 2019 |

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Jerusalem5767b

VaYikra 5772/2012: "The Sacrificial Call"

Parashat VaYikra contains echoes of the past few weeks. We just finished the book of Shemot/Exodus, and this week we begin the book of VaYikra/Leviticus. The end of Shemot is all about the building of the mishkan, and so, true to Jewish tradition, the journey forward remembers the past. The final...

Korach 5771: “Trust and Care”

This week's Torah Portion, Korach, centers on a popular uprising within the Israelite community against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Within the narrative the power of God manifests as the very earth opens a "mouth" to swallow the rebels whole. How can a healing message possibly survive this...

VaYigash 5771/2010: "Closer, Come Closer"

An often overlooked message within the Joseph story is the Joseph's own explanation to his brothers of what has happened: "Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come forward to me." And when they came forward, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be distressed...

A Morning Meditation for Caregivers

Breathe. Experience the love you help others feel. Be right where you are. Silence the other inner voices for a moment. They can wait. Breathe.

VaYigash 5770: “Broken Words”

Think back to a moment in which words failed you. What was it you were feeling? Anger? Joy? Pain? When Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, it is because he can’t hold it back any more (“veLo Yachol Yosef”, Gen. 45:1). Judah, the eldest brother has demonstrated his growth by offering...

VaYeshev 5770: "Righteousness, Justice, and Reuben Fulfilled"

I've found the multiple roles of citizen and rabbi difficult to untangle, despite a commitment to the separation of Religion and State. It is inappropriate to use my status as a religious leader to push a particular agenda in a civic debate. But, as I've encountered social ideas being shouted in...

Channukah 5770: "Holiday of Rights"

in memory of Rabbi Yochanan Muffs, z"l My teacher, Rabbi Yochanan Muffs, was a very special person. He taught Bible with unconstrainable passion, and doggedly continued offering small classes for decades at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America despite his long struggle with Parkinson's...

Thanksgiving 2009: "Giving Thanks"

The experience of Thanksgiving resonates with so much of Jewish tradition. Family, feast, gratitude, and harvest are part of many Jewish holidays, and some scholars believe that Thanksgiving is, at least in part, based on the holiday of Sukkot. There are even those who offer special Tefilot/Prayers...

Reflection: Being a Sacred Vessel in Moments of Tension

The human body, according to Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia, is a fragile sacred vessel. His program of Jewish learning, therefore, involved altered modes of breathing and bodily vitality to prevent physical harm to the student of the spirit. For every human being is a bridge between this world and...

Toldot 5770: "Unbound"

[*New Feature*: This Dvar Torah is available as a podcast! Click here for the link & to subscribe: http://tinyurl.com/rcpodcast] It's always bothered me that the Torah doesn't tell us more about Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Eisav and the incredible sequence of events in Genesis, chapter 27. Why...

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