Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"...Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump, one of you will be our next President. While one of you will lose this election, after the votes are counted and the winner is declared, both of you will remain powerful, influential American leaders. I know that politics is ugly and has been so long before this election.
"I had planned to write about my eldest son's bar mitzvah this weekend. I had planned to reflect upon some of the challenging tensions of being both a rabbi and a parent; of wanting to challenge him to learn more and work harder than he ever had, yet also conveying a sense that a bar mitzvah is not a culmination/endurance contest but a point of entry into adult Judaism. I wanted to talk about memory and family and the lingering sadness I feel that my late father won't have a chance to see his grandson become a bar mitzvah.
"Heartbreaking news from the U.S. Violence against gays. The worst mass shooting. Hints of international terrorism.
How should my fellow spiritual writers and I respond? Should we write prayers? Statements of solidarity? Or just post blank, speechless pages?..."
"This past Sunday, John Oliver made television history by giving away nearly $15 million. Well, sort of. In his piece about how scarily easy it is to buy debt, he formed the company “Central Asset Recovery Professionals” (or CARP, after the bottom-feeding fish), and then spent $60,000 to buy the medical debt of 9,000 Texans, totaling nearly $15 million.
"I'll never forget that time I taught the first line of this week's Torah portion (B'midbar). One English translation begins, ‘God spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai’ (Numbers 1:1), from which Jewish tradition spins countless interpretations.
Reading this verse, the student asked me, ‘Why did God speak to Moses in China?...’"
"For me, eating other people is a no-no; however, were I to find myself on a deserted island, with a recently deceased companion as the only available food source, I might be inclined to have a little nibble. And I am not alone; there are numerous cases where people, finding themselves in a similar situation, have opted for eating their companions rather than starve to death...."
"Like a great many others have over these past few days, I have read the incredibly powerful letter written by the young woman who was raped by Brock Turner. In past weeks it has felt like we have been riding several tides of outrage...outrage expressed in politics, presidential campaigns, and by the masses who are drawn more to the outrage than to thoughtful ideas that could address the concerns that drive the outrage...."
"...50 of us move in unison, matching the instructor's movements. There is no competition or judgment. Every experienced rider was once new; every teacher was once a rider. The instructor guides us with a myriad of words–choreography, body positioning guidance, personal encouragement, and a motivational frame that guides from the first to last song. In the best classes, it feels like communal prayer.
"...So yeah, this post is really less about Brock Turner than it is about me, a father of three daughters – one just graduated from college, one in college and one just a few years away – reflecting on the need to better address the issue of sexual assault, both on campus and generally, including the need to address an already supercharged debate with greater wisdom and less heat. For me, that path takes us right to a discussion of guilt vs. responsibility...."
"Ok people have you been watching ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’? For heaven's sakes, why not?!? During this election season, I have heard many people opine about missing Jon Stewart and his brand of political satire. Samantha Bee has picked up the mantle and then some...."