Personal Growth

Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.

Just Opened: New Theatre’s ‘Gospel According to Jerry’ by Rabbi Irwin Kula and Jerry Krevolin November 25, 2014

From The Miami Herald review: "New Theatre's The Gospel According to Jerry is a two-hander, that theatrical form in which a disparate pair talks, clashes and bonds over the course of the play. This one has two authors as well: playwright-screenwriter Richard Krevolin and Rabbi Irwin Kula.

The tender-hearted piece at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center certainly follows the two-hander form, but the production isn't formulaic — it's lovely."

Thanksgiving Leftovers and Gratitude November 25, 2014

Everyone has their favorite recipes for making the Thanksgiving feast last for days after the holiday meal. But Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of, has some tips for stretching the leftover expressions of gratitude into our everyday lives.

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

Tzemah Yoreh: J: The Book of Mercy Volume II November 24, 2014

In this book, the companion volume to Kernel to Canon series, Clal Resident and Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. tells J’s version of how Moses was chosen, how he rescued Israel from the Egyptians and how he led the Israelites to the Promised Land. It presents the story as the Bible once told it, just E’s original story with J’s additions, without embellishments or commentary. It is J: The Book of Mercy.

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield on How to Respond to the Jerusalem Attacks November 21, 2014

This week four men, including three rabbis, were killed as they prayed in a bloody attack at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem. It is the latest act in a part of the world plagued by religious violence. "As horrible as these events are," says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of, "the best response never comes from a place of despondency, desperation, depression fear or anger."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field:Jewish Men Behaving Badly November 20, 2014

"“Wear red lipstick when you meet with him,” warned a grad student. I only vaguely understood what she meant. The man in question was a revered academic scholar. His taking time to meet with a lowly undergraduate was an honor. His advanced years and disheveled fashion clouded my naïve ability to see him as a sexual predator. But after he began calling me sweetheart, asking me to sit up in the front row during class, and putting his hands on my thighs under the table, the meaning of her warning became crystal clear.

The Wisdom Daily: Are You Still an FOP: Fan of the Pope? November 19, 2014

"Pope Francis has engaged and inspired millions of non-Catholics, former Catholics and alienated Catholics since assuming his position as global leader of the Catholic Church. He is both a spiritual master and global celebrity, so yes, the world is now filled with FOPs - Fans Of the Pope. Only now, some of them may be reconsidering their views, though I am not sure that that is fair, at least not to Pope Francis..."

The Wisdom Daily: How Do We Innovate Religion? November 18, 2014

"In this talk I gave at BIF10 in September, I focus on religion from the most practical and, as it turns out, most innovative perspective: how well do our religions serve our deep human needs? What if religions were actually measured by their ability to impact our capacity for gratitude, hope, empathy and our sense of belonging?

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field:Intermarriage Questions Go Beyond “How Will They Raise the Kids?” November 18, 2014

"A couple of years ago I received a call from a long-time congregant, Steve (I’ve changed his name and other identifying details). He’s very nice, not very involved in synagogue life at this point, though he might have been when his kids were in religious school, before I was the rabbi here. The particular role he takes on, year after year, is setting up for the break-the-fast after Yom Kippur. He enjoys it, and it’s important to him. A few years ago his wife died, too young. I did her funeral..."

Tzemah Yoreh: Book of Mercy November 17, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Bible Criticism Scholar Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. writes that in J's version of the Genesis account the world wasn't created in seven days, it was already there. God was not an aloof deity whose mere words could create worlds, but an insecure and entirely immanent being.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What's The Deal With Seinfeld's Self-Diagnosis? November 13, 2014

"Last week's announcement by Jerry Seinfeld that he is "probably on the autism spectrum" has been met with mixed emotions by those of us who are connected to the autism community...."

By Rabbi Rebecca Schorr, Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Jewish Week

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