Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"I recently received an amazing piece of mail. A large envelope arrived at my office, containing a letter and a bound document. The letter referred to a sermon I gave some 14 years ago. At that time, I encouraged each person present to create an ethical will – a personal statement of values, beliefs, stories – whatever it was that was they believed was their legacy. The bound document accompanying the letter was in fact the writer's ethical will.
"A strange thing happened in the wake of the election, and is intensifying now that the inauguration is next week. People want to be together in new and powerful ways. For all of the talk of division and schism in this country, there also is a galvanizing and unifying force that is bringing people together to work for social change in a way that feels somewhat unprecedented.
"I have always viewed Mother Nature as being synonymous with happiness. It is literally the center of all things ‘Life.’ If you took five minutes right now to step outside and be one with nature, you would experience thousands of things all at once: the subtlety of the earth breathing, the wind blowing onto your face, the sunshine warming your body, the birds tittering in your ears. It's all there, whether we notice it or not.
"...We all love our ghosts, but sometimes we can resent them too. For parents who lost mates and raised children without them, the ghost-mate sometimes looms larger in disembodied legend and longing than they might have if death had not taken them early.
"A strange thing happened in the wake of the election, and is intensifying now that the inauguration is next week.
People want to be together in new and powerful ways...."
By Rabbi Seth Goldstein, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"It was shockingly warm for late October in Boston, and I decided to hold my college class outside, on the library's rooftop. There's something magical about that rooftop. On a clear day, sky, city, and sun are all visible, and students often settle into deep yet comfortable conversation as they savor the novelty of a different location.
"...Yes, a false start. Not a bad start, as I met some cool people and we shared belly laughs and writing tips. But also not a true start. Perhaps I needed to learn, for the umpteenth time, to honor my instincts, no matter what. I just need to pay as close attention to them as I do to the car's console, even if they don't flash red and orange and, at times, are as hard to discern as a faint pulse under a thick sweater...."
"...I'm embarrassed that I hadn't seen Jacob until another volunteer focused me on him. When I did see him, Jacob reminded me of Winnie the Pooh's ‘Eeyore’ – withdrawn, shriveled, barely noticed, barely noticeable. He seemed veiled in a sadness so dark that, like a black hole, it seemed to cloak itself and him with it...."
"On the cusp of the secular new year I sat at my dining room table with three friends, a notepad and a handful of pens, and a tealight in a little dish. As the old year waned, we planned to write down some of the things we wanted to let go of, the baggage we didn't want to carry with us into the new year...."
"...technology is not going to stop people's need for community or meaning. What will change is how people find them and how we navigate the relationship between our essential humanity and our ever-changing technology....’"