Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...The Book of Deuteronomy warns us of the mindset of ‘my power and my might have gotten me all this wealth’. Power corrupts. For the first time in 2000 years the Jewish People have real political and military power, and I fear that it has gone to our head. Worse still, it has corrupted our religious ideology. We act as if God's promise of the land is equivalent to absolute ownership and as if absolute ownership allows us to trample the rights and the dignity of the indigenous Palestinians.
"‘Thank you for not forgetting about us, Rabbi. ’These are the words of a member of one of the 20-plus Small but Proud Jewish communities that Rabbis Without Borders has served in the last six months since launching the Rabbinic Service Corps in 2015. Small but Proud communities are places around the U.S. that have lost Jewish organizational support over the last five to 10 years and are currently underserved to the extent that they are in serious danger of ceasing to exist in the next five to 10 years.
Sing with Clal resident, Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan Rabbi. at the Aleph Kallah from July 11 - 17 in Fort Collins, CO.
In a week-long class, "The Quest for Nondual Consciousness in Jewish Body-Based Practice," co-taught with Shoshana Jedwab, the Kirtan Rabbi will discuss the feeling of “All is One” in the body and heart as a tool to gain perspective, insight and healing. There will be chanting, dancing, stories, chi gung and more.
"...But, just recently, I purchased an electronic toothbrush – the kind your dentist encourages you to buy – the kind you think costs way too much. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this toothbrush changed my life. I am not certain if it has improved my dental hygiene – I haven't been to the dentist since I purchased it. I am certain, however, that it has taught me how to slow down in the morning, be mindful of how I am feeling and organize the many thoughts in my head...."
"...Our Kabbalistic (mystical) tradition teaches that God, like a human parent, is made up of discrete qualities available as touchstones to be emulated as we shape ourselves into the very best versions of who we can become. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree; we look to our divine parent to learn how to be human...."
"...More than just encouraging them to continue their Jewish education and to get involved in the youth group, what are the most impactful words a rabbi can offer to a bar or bat mitzvah in the 21st century?
Here are the areas I think rabbis should talk about when offering wisdom to the bar or bat mitzvah:
"...All of us have a unique mission, and yet all roads lead to the same destination. We are called upon to heal the world, individually and collectively, in our societies, communities, and souls.
"I love it when science proves what I already believed. And I say that with full awareness that by definition what science ‘proves’ today might just as well be ‘disproved’ tomorrow, only to be ‘reproved’ later still (hopefully in a more refined fashion). I am also aware that what we know by intuition and/or faith can be at least as true, and certainly as meaningful as what we know scientifically and empirically...."
"If you express compassion, you are ‘asserting a false moral equivalence’ between the good and evil sides. If you use humour but a humourless reader takes your words literally, ‘you are truly an evil person.’
How do I respond to such comments?
Politely: ‘Thank you for your kind note.’
Kindly: ‘I'm sorry. It was not my intent to harm anyone or to fail in empathy.’
Brad Hirschfield discusses George Zimmerman's decision to put up for auction the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012. This move elicited outrage, disbelief and a range of other emotions. Martin claimed the gun was “an American Firearm icon”.
Rabbi Hirschfield wonders if Zimmerman truly believes this, is crass commercialization the way to treat an “icon”?
View Rabbi Hirschfield's discussion below.