Personal Growth

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

The Wisdom Daily: Leaving Baggage and Blame at the Door – How to Talk about Israel and Gaza July 25, 2014

"The war between Hamas and Israel drags on, with Hamas yet again rejecting the cease fire proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But this post isn’t about ascribing blame, it’s about the increasingly difficult challenge of talking about the Middle East in any way that doesn’t focus on just that – on winning the blame game, as opposed to allowing the safety we have here in America to encourage conversation that might actually make a positive difference, whether our passion is for Israel or for Gaza..."

The Wisdom Daily: Beyond Living with Cancer. Stuart Scott’s Wisdom for Living, Period. July 23, 2014

"This video of ESPN's Stuart Scott accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award is about way more than living with cancer - as if that would not be reason enough to watch. You can watch from the beginning, or pick it up at 6:50 when his speech begins, but either way you will be both inspired and enlightened.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Jon Stewart Can’t Talk About Israel, But We Must July 23, 2014

"...We all have a tendency to read more from those who already think like us. So how do we navigate our way through the quagmire of information? One might try to distinguish between what is descriptive and what is opinion. But this isn’t always useful. We might hear a news report that begins by telling us how many Gazans died today and how many times Israel fired on Gaza. That is descriptive.

The Wisdom Daily: The Israel-Hamas War: Hope on the Edge July 22, 2014

"Use your words," I remember saying to my children when they wanted to hit or bite during those terrible twos when children don't have the words to adequately communicate their feelings. Well, the words of diplomats and politicians, political scientists and pundits, intelligence and military experts, artists, religious leaders, and peace activists have all failed. We are killing each other rather than using our words.

The Wisdom Daily: Five Steps to Raising Kind Kids July 21, 2014

"The five steps described in this Washington Post article are the result of Harvard Psychologist, Richard Weissbourd and the Making Caring Common project which he directs. Like most lists, this one may make it seem far simpler than it is to actually accomplish the goal. On the other hand, the list could actually be distilled down to an even simpler, single step – and one which is even more immediately in each of our control than the kids we produce:..."

The Wisdom Daily: The Man in the Moon July 21, 2014

"Are we better or worse off as a global community today than we were 45 years ago? If you were around then, do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969? Remember the wonder, hope, and possibility you felt when “with one small step” Neil Armstrong made history becoming the first person to set foot on the moon?"
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The Wisdom Daily: Proud To Say “I’m Sorry” July 17, 2014

"In addition to this seeming to be my week to reflect on verbal responses to new situations (earlier this week, I wrote about the art of accepting compliments), the whole question of when to say "I'm sorry", and what those words mean, strikes very close to home with me. My guess is that it does the same for you. We hear those two little words so often, and probably say them as often, but what do they mean? Are they an expression of passive regret about a particular circumstance e.g.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: How News and Social Media Can Hurt Us July 17, 2014

"Lately I've been talking with rabbinic colleagues about how best to minister to our congregants who are struggling with the news out of Israel/Palestine. We're hearing from people who are unable to fall asleep because they can't stop thinking about the images of destruction and grief, or who wake up and immediately start agonizing about the conflict or worrying about loved ones..."

The Wisdom Daily: Togetherness Even When You Are Miles Apart July 16, 2014

"Ever make plans with someone, and then all of a sudden they switch things up on you? Of course you have! That's life. Does it bother you? My guess is that even if you are one of those people who pride themselves on your flexibility, if the plans were about something you consider a big deal, even you would find yourself annoyed. But why?..."
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West Hills Rabbi Dedicates Jewish Fast to Nonviolence, Breaks Fast with Muslim Friend July 16, 2014

"On Tuesday, Rabbi Tsafi Lev of West Hills fasted on the Hebrew calendar day that commemorates the breach of Jerusalem’s walls before the destruction of the Second Temple. Although Lev doesn’t normally abstain from food and drink on this minor Jewish fast day, he wanted to do so this year in the name of nonviolence as intense fighting continued in Israel, Gaza and beyond..."

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