Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...I asked him if he thought the day was surreal; here he was after all, living and talking and laughing while all of us knew that the end was so close. To a certain degree it felt strange he said, but mostly he thought it was just perfect. He told me he was the king of the Court, everyone there, his favorite people in the world, in fact, to spend time with him...."
"...Many texts in Judaism are devoted to women's dress. It is understood that a woman should dress modestly. Today in more traditional Jewish circles that often means wearing a skirt which covers the knee, sleeves which cover the elbow, and if married, a head covering. Exactly how long the skirt, shirt sleeves, and how big the head covering range greatly depending on how strict the community is. Liberal Jewish women more or less wear what they want.
"If you look carefully you can find it tucked neatly between the excitement of children returning from summer camp and the beginning of the new school year. It is a two-week period in late August when everything is ending and everything is beginning again. A slow hum underneath the quiet. A tiny ripple disrupting a still pond. The roads feel empty, but our feeds are full of smiling faces...."
"...While bar or bat mitzvah requirements will vary from congregation to congregation, community to community, the ceremony usually takes place in the context of a Shabbat service and will usually involve the Bar or Bat Mitzvah demonstrating a combination of Torah and/or haftarah reading, prayer leading, community service and delivering a d'var Torah (a teaching on the Torah portion.) And while these are learned skills, when we say ‘you did a great job’ we are reinforcing the idea that the bar or bat mitzvah ceremony
"...Banning burkinis is nothing less than rage-driven form of vengeance against Islam, in the wake of Islam-inspired terror attacks in France, seriously betraying the French ideals of Liberté, égalité, fraternité, and ironically taking what might be called an Islamist approach to combating Islamism...."
"...If ‘The still small voice within’ had an opposite mantra, it might be Nike's slogan, ‘Just Do It.’ Since I appreciate and strive for thoughtful, mindful and deliberate action, I remember recoiling at that three word phrase when it first entered the lexicon in the late 1980s. It seemed like the company was exhorting people to get into action no matter what, to follow any and every impulse as if all were equivalent and to override thoughtful analysis...."
"...An obvious question arises: If life in the Land of Israel — which is of course the real world in which we all live — is so fraught with spiritual danger, why does God subject us to it, why does He not just leave us in the desert, providing for all our needs such that we would never be subject to the error of supposing that all of our accomplishments are to be credited only to our own ingenuity and toil!..."
"...I had called Andrea to talk about the complicated role anger is playing in national conversations this summer. Passions are running high. Passion is not something that scares me, but anger does. It seemed to me that when we often use anger as an excuse not to consider another point of view. So I asked her about it...."
"Sometimes life feels like a wilderness, wild and waste and inhospitable. Sometimes I feel like I'm going in circles, recognizing my own sorrows as ruefully familiar landmarks in an otherwise pathless desert. This painful issue – haven't I been here before? This broken relationship – why are its jagged edges slicing into me again? This dysfunctional work situation – haven't I spent forever struggling with these colleagues and their ill will? Why can't I seem to get out of this place?..."
"...Part of what makes us, us, and a really good part no less, is our checking each other out, and choosing some people as more worthy of our attention and investment than others. So much for preferring openness to the inherent value of all people, to being intuitively judgmental, right? Well, sort of, and this is where an old dichotomous debate gets interesting...."