Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.

The Wisdom Daily: The August Quiet August 25, 2016

"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...."

The Wisdom Daily: Ban The Burkini Ban August 24, 2016

"...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...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The One Thing We Need to Stop Saying to Our Kids at their Bar or Bat Mitzvah August 24, 2016

"...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

The Wisdom Daily: What If The "Still Small Voice" Is Neither Still Nor A Voice? August 23, 2016

"...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...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Judaism in a Secular Age – Just What God Wanted! August 23, 2016

"...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!..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The Cost of Anger August 22, 2016

"...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...."

The Wisdom Daily: When Life Feels Like A Wilderness August 22, 2016

"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?..."

The Wisdom Daily: We're Wired For Self-Interest. Is That A Bad Thing? August 22, 2016

"...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...."

The Wisdom Daily: What Old School Perspective Can Teach The Age Of The Smartphone August 19, 2016

"...I manage to text, inbox and even tweet. Still I wonder how these technological advances might hurt our relationships with each other and our world. The telephone is no longer used for talking but for Instagram and Snapchat. For my children's generation even email is now considered old-fashioned. Gone are the days of writing letters. Gone are the days of lengthy phone calls that were once our only way to transcend the thousands of miles that separated parent from child.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Tu B’Av, Love Yourself Challenge August 19, 2016

"...While of course I think it's fine to post joyful moments on Facebook, it's important to recognize these can be hard for friends who are experiencing loss or sadness. Having many friends who have faced fertility struggles, I understand how hard it can be for them to see photos of ultrasounds and newborns on Facebook. Mother's Day and Father's Day posts can be especially challenging for people for all sorts of reasons.

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