Personal Growth

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

The Wisdom Daily: Oliver Sacks Gets Personal August 27, 2015

"When world-famous neurologist Oliver Sacks writes - as he did recently about family, faith and his own impending death - it pays to pay attention. I admit, I'm biased due to the fact that this amazing doctor and author was the friend and colleague of another doctor and author I respect: my late father-in-law, Dr. Harold Klawans...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The Elul of Victory and Defeat August 26, 2015

"...we are open and vulnerable to our missteps and willing to admit when we did wrong, but we don’t take time to celebrate our successes and victories. While we ask ourselves where we missed the mark and what aspects of ourselves do we need to improve, we must also ask ourselves, What did we accomplish this past year? When were our successes? When did our spiritual work of self-improvement pay off?..."

The Wisdom Daily: Jimmy Carter's Next Chapter August 26, 2015

"...There is no more powerful moment than being in the presence of, and holding the hand of, someone dying. There is no lying at the end of life. No one knows better than the person dying whether he or she has lived with purpose and meaning. And how one passes from this world to the next, with bitterness and resentment or grace and love, has much to do with how one lived in this world.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Good Decisions, Bad Consequences August 25, 2015

"...There are bad decisions, decisions for which information is available to warn us away from certain choices. If we ignore that information, we are culpable for those decisions and must atone. There are good decisions, for which we have knowledge that points us toward the best path. If we use that knowledge to make good decisions and benefit, we are to be congratulated. Sometimes, though, we do the best we can with the information we have, and a decision ends up being to our detriment.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What is Anger For? August 24, 2015

"...Some, though not all anger, is as monumental as the anger that emerged from the Holocaust. Most anger exists on a smaller scale. Sometimes anger is justified and others times not. But in all its forms, anger is an expression of our evil inclination and as such it has great destructive potential. Still it also has the potential for good. Anger can drive us to push for change, to protect ourselves and our communities.

The Wisdom Daily: Heroics on a Train Yield Lessons in Courage August 24, 2015

"...All three young Americans were remarkably modest and unassuming in their description of the events, as so many heroes often are. But I felt the words of 23-year-old Anthony Sadler (perhaps because he's ‘just’ a college student from California and not active military, like his buddies) really hit home: ‘Hiding or sitting back is not going to accomplish anything... Don't just stand by and do nothing.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What Should Rabbis Be Speaking About on Rosh Hashanah? August 23, 2015

"...There is so much to speak about – pressing issues. And, this is the only time we will have such a large sanctuary; filled to overflowing. Where do the themes of the High Holy Days fit in?..."

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By Rabbi Steve Bayar, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com

Brad Hirschfield on Amazon, Radical Innovation and the Value of the Sabbath August 21, 2015

Amazon has become an essential part of life to many Americans. And when a recent New York Times article shone a light on the corporate culture of the company, the outcry was immediate and loud. It's important that we consumers acknowledge our role in the Amazon phenomenon, say Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, and also suggests three ways to cope with stressful work environments.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Would Oliver Sacks Call Himself "Religious"? August 20, 2015

"...Oliver Sacks may still feel ambivalent about God and about Judaism, but Shabbat clearly adds a sense of wholeness to his life. And while many scientists are wary of religion, because God is not a provable or testable hypothesis, that’s the wrong way to approach the question. If we are looking for a hypothesis to test, perhaps we should ask, ‘Can this practice enhance my life?’ That’s the true test of what religion can do."

The Wisdom Daily: Looking Up, and Looking In August 20, 2015

"...The stars are there every night, but we can only see them when there are no clouds and when the moon has dwindled. The opportunity to examine ourselves is there all year long - but some seasons of the year offer us special opportunities to see ourselves in a new light...."


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