Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"...What about when love doesn't carry the day? It is well-known that Jewish law states that for wrongs between people, God does not forgive until forgiveness is asked and received by the people involved. And in theory, no one wants to be that person who can't let go, who refuses the request for forgiveness. But is it really possible, or even right to forgive everything?..."
"Late last month, Joanne Harpel and Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman met in a restaurant to celebrate what would have been their brother Stephen’s 50th birthday. They’ve been holding the annual ritual with several of their brother’s friends since 1993, when Stephen committed suicide at the age of 26...On September 12, 2016, the pair is commemorating their brother’s life a second time, by organizing the conference “What Do I Do When … ?
"Lately my to-do lists seem to be spontaneously breeding. I write a list, then later that day or the next, I'll start another list. I might find the first list and add to it. I might have one list on my computer, a different one on the refrigerator and a third on a scrap of paper in my purse. I am not sure that the ‘to-do’ list apps on my portable electronics help, since no two lists match. Each list seems important, or, has at least one important item on it...."
"I feel a little anxiety. A little sadness. I'm excited, but also a little helpless. For the first time, my kids don't want me to drive them to school. I expect this from my middle schooler, but my 9 year old? When did he stop needing me?..."
By Rabbi Melinda Mersack, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"I was teaching, earlier today, about a 7-step process of seeking and finding comfort in the wake of deep trauma or rupture in relationships. This was week three in a series which examines one step week for 7 weeks, and I am sharing this one because it happens to have fallen out on a day in history which could seriously challenge the premise but ultimately did just the opposite, I think...."
"We're almost at that magical time of year – that time that makes me happy I live in New England and able to witness the most beautiful fall foliage. Taking nature walks this time of year fills me with a sudden, invigorating desire to make this my new start.
What is it about fall that brings so many new beginnings to mind?..."
"...Elul is when we look deeply and longingly at the ifs of our lives. If only we were more loving, more patient, more hopeful. If only we forgave rather than clutch our hurt or righteous indignation. If only we reached out and reached in. If only we had seen our own complicity. If only we didn't look away from another in need. If only we hadn't begrudged. If only we hadn't lied. If only...."
"...Cooking has always been my greatest meditation, even when I strove to divorce myself from that identification as the lady in the kitchen, and as I chopped and diced and stirred and mixed, I wondered whether it was all worth it. I was hungry, I had work to do, and honestly, lentils are lentils. I can throw a bunch of salt, pepper and olive oil on top and it'll make me happy, won't it?..."
"...We took a moment to be in awe of some of the things that robots are being designed to do these days. But then, I have to admit, I needed to voice my discomfort at this particular example. It somehow felt less ‘holy’ to me to have a robot write a scroll. Why is that? If the robot can write more perfectly, why is that ‘less’? Is it something to do with the skill and effort of the traditional scribe? Or the sense that the scribe is the embodiment of over 2,000 years of tradition?
"This weekend is Rosh Chodesh Elul. For rabbis serving communities across the world, this means one important thing – it is time to buckle down and decide what we want to say in our High Holy Day sermons. Somehow, the High Holy Day sermon has become the World Series for rabbis. It doesn't seem to matter what you say during the rest of the year – all is forgiven and forgotten except the High Holy Day sermon...."