Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"The following letter to the Palestinian people shall never be sent. After at least three rewritings and endless discussions among my colleagues, it has been concluded that it would never have the effect we had hoped. Its message would be misused and distorted by the traumatized Palestinian people whose hearts it was meant to open. And the backlash it would cause in my Jewish community among those who have come back to settle the hills of Judea after our 2000 year exile, would be fierce and unforgiving.
"Each page had a title: A page for each of my children with their name on it, of course; the name of my spiritual community as well. Pages with titles like Work, Healing, Israel, Help, in which I recorded prayer requests pertaining to those categories as well.
"His experiments on himself over the decades yielded a large body of work known as Awareness Through Movement lessons, delivered in group classes, and in one-on-one sessions called Functional Integration. The group lessons, originally delivered in Hebrew and later translated into other languages, direct students through unusual and 'pointless' positions, at times recreating the organic learning of infants.
"Others might say that joy is the end result of spiritual life, but what then do we make of the fact that we all have moments in our lives that are not joyful? If we’re feeling sorrow or grief, does that mean that we’re 'failing' at being spiritual? (Hardly: it means we’re succeeding at being authentic to where we are.)
"In the context of Irish literature, the reader may find herself caught in the funky twists and turns of its stories, mainly due to the fluidity of their nature. At the entrance of each tale, content clues and road maps are sold for twenty five cents each; but without our handy footnotes, it’s only too easy to get lost in the world of the fantastical.
Rabbi Kula lays out the framework coined by Clayton Christensen as "jobs to be done," and he applies that framework to contemporary Judaism. He also looks at the roles of individuals and communities, critiquing the pervasive idea of Judaism encapsulated by the phrase "the Jewish community." He explains why an emphasis on belonging makes it difficult for Judaism to better fulfill a variety of other important "jobs to be done."
"Old habits die hard. Especially at times of illness and death, naturally we incline to practices rooted deep in memory, how and when we were raised, sometimes grounded in ancient tradition that arose in cultures so different that our ancestors could hardly imagine how we’d live today. Most everyone reading this blog post grew up before blog posts (and before an Internet filled with them).
"Caught in the spinning wheels of political change, I believe it is time for us all to take some inventory on our spiritual state. As a Catholic, I am often dismayed by some groups who exhibit an unchristian attitude towards others while simultaneously claiming to fight to preserve Christianity in a way that can be hateful and harmful to minority groups.
"I went to the local town hall meeting with our State Representative, Buddy Carter. The small theater at the local college overflowed with people but not by a lot. Maybe 30 people were standing while another 150 were seated. It was 10 a.m. on a Thursday morning when most people in my largely working-class city are out working. Someone asked if Mr. Carter would vote to defund Planned Parenthood. He sidestepped the question, and the crowd began chanting — yes or no? Yes or no? He paused, waited for the din to subside.
"...what binds the elite – whether an elite of money or of knowledge – is the obligation to temper it with humility and care for others.