Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.
"...While I pray for all of my children–for their health and happiness, and their safety in an uncertain world–I found myself unable to pray for anything in the days following the Orlando attack. I found solace only in the recitation of psalms, in the original Hebrew and in Stephen Mitchell's English adaptations. These rich expressions of human emotion help me feel less alone...."
"...I believe that whether we realize it or not, we may encounter angels in our lives, and we may be angels. As with God, we don't have proof one way or the other of the existence of angels, divine messengers. We have no obligation to believe that they are real. But they are present in Jewish tradition, as well as other traditions...."
"An older man and an older woman, sparring for the throne. And the country watching, mouths agape, as if it is some gladiatorial sport from days of yore. Half of us are hating the one, and the other half hating the other. We fill our minds with our own words, and see through glasses colored to our preference. We cheer for our favorites when they make a clever jab, and cry ‘liar’ at the opposition's witty retort...."
"...With that simple question, a bitter, tedious evening turned toward something genuinely constructive and impactful. Even sitting at home, I felt the energy in the audience change from a mixture of bored exhaustion mixed with cage match fury, to one of surprise, interest and hope. You tell me which set of emotions is more likely to lead our nation to a better place, however you define that better place?..."
"...Last week I was the Em Beit Din, the head rabbi on a panel of rabbis, for an extraordinary conversion. The woman we were converting was in New South Wales And the rabbis on the beit din were in Georgia, Tennessee, New York City, Chappaqua, New York and New Mexico...."
"Until the advent of aviation no one except for the highest mountain-dwellers knew what the world looked like from above the clouds. No one understood what it was like to peer down to witness them as a floor and not a ceiling. I had been flying at 30 thousand feet and for a second, though I'd long since been inured to the wonder of air travel, that high altitude view struck me as beautiful and mysterious once more.
"...We need to remember that there is so much more change within us than we believe possible. Yes, we struggle. Yes, we fail. Yes, we don't always live up to our best selves. But when we wade into those dark and scary places, we find the seeds of growth...."
"Which side of your face (or which leg) do you shave first? Seem trivial? Well, not as much as you might think. Go ahead, try it tomorrow morning and ask yourself how you feel. New research on habits teach that most likely, changing our daily ritual for something as seemingly trivial as how we shave will cause us at least a degree of discomfort...."
"...New Year's resolutions are a tricky business. On the one hand, we make them because we aspire to be better versions of ourselves. We yearn to become the individuals we know we can be but have not yet become. We want to do better, to be better, to become our own self-help narratives.
But we also know that we will fail to keep most of our NY resolutions...."
"During the High Holiday period, we expect a great deal from ourselves. Putting aside the business of material holiday preparation (meals! more meals! house cleaning for guests!) we also understand this period to be one in which we are expected to review our year, figure out what we have done wrong and try to right it.