Personal Growth

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

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Gratitude and Forgiving the Unforgivable September 30, 2014

"A while back I suggested a unique way of doing the chesbon nefesh (soul’s accounting) we are expected to do this time of year. The tools I suggested are useful year round, but they are timely during this season of Teshuva (repentance).As I understand them, the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) rests on two central themes: Gratitude and Forgiveness.

Tzemah Yoreh: Book of Judgment September 29, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. explores how did the biblical Isaac die? It may be surprising to know that in the original Genesis account, the angel did not stop Abraham's knife, but let Isaac be sacrificed, severing not only his head but also the continuity between Abraham and Jacob. This companion volume to my Kernel to Canon series tells the original story of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Balaam as the Bible once told it, without embellishments or commentary.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Dear Friend, May You Be Written in the Book of Life September 29, 2014

"May you be Written in the Book of Life” is such a nice phrase to utter at this time of year, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Most years I don’t think much about it. It is easy to ignore the weight of the words when everyone in your life is healthy.This year is different. A close friend is struggling with aggressive breast cancer. Instead of casually saying these words, I am fervently praying them on her behalf..."

The Wisdom Daily: Widen Your View and Pay Hope Forward September 24, 2014

"When you look at the image above, what do you see? What does it make you think? How does it make you feel? When you look in the mirror what do you see? In each case, what we see, and how we think about these images, can create remarkable opportunities and possibilities for us - if we dare to let it be so.

The Wisdom Daily: A Police Officer, a Homeless Black Man and an NBA Star: A Story of Character September 23, 2014

"Obviously, there are serious tensions and real problems between the police and the black community across the country. Every black person in this country knows that being stopped on the street by the police is one of the more dangerous moments in life - something white people cannot understand. Addressing this will require police departments to make significant changes in their legal, political economic, historical, and social structures.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meeting My Palestinian Neighbors For the First Time September 23, 2014

"Nine months ago I opened the front door of my apartment in Alon Shvut and took a 20-minute walk that began to change my life. My wife asked me to reconsider—it might be dangerous, she said—but I went anyway. My heart beat just a little bit faster than usual as I walked through the Arab fields and vineyards that surround my home in the Judean Hills...."

Federation defers decision to include interfaith members September 22, 2014

"...Prior to the discussion on the membership amendment, members of the audience gave a warm reception to keynote speaker, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield. A renowned author, lecturer and president of The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, he has been ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of America’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis.”

The Wisdom Daily: Innovation Heaven at BIF10 September 22, 2014

"Where do you think you would hear these words? Miracle, Wake Up, Blessing, Practice, Community, Confession, Well of Meaning, Beginner’s Mind, Big Why, Promise, Creativity, Humanity’s Voice, Human Centeredness, Spirituality, Light, Healing, Service, Hope, Presence, Faith, Compassion, Gift. No, not at a religious service, at least not of any official religious denomination in America. I heard these words this past week at the BIF-10 Innovation Summit..."

Happy New Year? Who says so? September 17, 2014


You do, actually. At least, you can choose to.

Think of this choice as a Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur gift you can give yourself, not to mention anyone else with whom you want to share it.



Download the Rosh Hashanah card as a .pdf file

Happy New Year? Says Who? September 16, 2014

"Shanah Tova! Happy New Year! Who says so? The summer saw three Jewish kids and one Palestinian brutally murdered, followed by a war — one ended by a cease-fire that Hamas leaders are already threatening to end by Sept. 25 if they don’t get the results they want..."

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By Brad Hirschfield Special to The Jewish Week

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