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Co-Authored with Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, MSW

We are writing as Jews, as Zionists and Rabbis from two different movements to reflect upon Jay Michaelson’s thoughtful and provocative response in the Jewish Daily Forward to Rabbi Menachem Creditor’s piece about his shifting perspectives and deep commitments in the Huffington Post. Before we develop our thoughts on Mr. Michaelson’s response, a bit of disclosure is necessary. We spent the week beginning July 8th in Israel together with Rabbi Creditor and 16 other rabbis. While in Israel, we spent countless hours in meetings, staying glued to media reports about the unfolding violence and ran into bomb shelters. Together we were, time and time again, shaken by the perilousness of the situation and the human suffering on both sides of this conflict.

Not only do we know Rabbi Menachem Creditor well, but we are in awe of his deep compassion for all of humanity. We take issue with the claim that Rabbi Creditor’s response was “emotional tribalism” that lacked reasoned analysis.

That Mr. Michaelson leveled that criticism at Rabbi Creditor suggests that he does not know his “friend” as well as he might think. Moreover, the author seems to suggest that an emotional response, by definition, precludes thoughtful analysis and meaningful discourse. This is anything but the case. To put it bluntly- Rabbi Creditor is one of the most reflective people we know both in person and on social media.

Read more: An Article Filled With “Yes/But” When the World Needs “Both/And” | Daniel M. Cohen | The Blogs | The Times of Israel 
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