Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...There are bad decisions, decisions for which information is available to warn us away from certain choices. If we ignore that information, we are culpable for those decisions and must atone. There are good decisions, for which we have knowledge that points us toward the best path. If we use that knowledge to make good decisions and benefit, we are to be congratulated. Sometimes, though, we do the best we can with the information we have, and a decision ends up being to our detriment.
"...There is so much to speak about – pressing issues. And, this is the only time we will have such a large sanctuary; filled to overflowing. Where do the themes of the High Holy Days fit in?..."
By Rabbi Steve Bayar, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"...Former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and long-time communal leader Alan Solow, a friend, counselor and board member of Clal, publisher of The Wisdom Daily, wrote an opinion piece for JTA, which is worth the few short minutes it will take you to read. It will actually make you smarter and more self-aware about whatever position you take on the Iran deal (which currently awaits congressional approval) - and all in less than 1,000 words.
"...Ferguson has become a metaphor for the racial divide in America. Unlike the extraordinary response of forgiveness and healing rooted in the deeply religious community of Charleston, S.C., that resulted in the removal of the Confederate flag, the anger in Ferguson over Michael Brown's death is still boiling over in senseless violence nearly one year later...."
"...My granddaughter and I sit down to make something out of clay, and I strike up a conversation with a young mother. She tells me the name of the settlement where she lives. I think to myself – Wow, we’ve done a good job! Who would have expected that a family from there, a community considered to be a hotbed of Jewish religious extremism, is here at our camp, building bridges of understanding and friendship between Palestinian and Israelis..."
"...As we begin the month of Elul, the time when we take account of our hearts, our actions and our responsibilities, it is worth considering that whatever we believe the source of meaning to be, it comes not through pursuing the desires of our hearts and eyes, but through seeking out what is larger than ourselves and contributing to it...."
"...There is no question that the experience of financial success and well-being are, at least in part, contextual. Numerous studies show that people report greater happiness when they move to a less fancy neighborhood, or are typically more affluent than most of those among whom they socialize. Their understanding of wealth and financial well-being is shaped by the context in which they find themselves...."
"...It is because of my three children that I was paraded into jail that day. It was because of them, because of their innocence and their love, that I locked arms with fellow clergy and people of faith to march to the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis and protest the treatment of blacks and to demand reforms to the criminal justice systems in St Louis, and in America. It was them that I was thinking of as I chanted about democracy and sang songs of freedom.
"...In a couple of weeks I will have been married for 33 years. I only wish I understood earlier how much the person I fell in love with decades ago, who has loved me more than any other person in my life (including my parents as they had five other kids and no choice) knew so much before I did how I have needed to change over the course of our life together...."
"...One way to understand religion is as an imposition of meaning on the world, which could be for good or for ill. However the role of religion that Jon Stewart points toward is something else: a way of reminding us that no ideology, whether expounded from a pulpit or behind a desk, should trump the real needs of others...."