Personal Growth

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

Shabbat SHELACH: Never See Yourself as a Grasshopper May 30, 2013

"As the Israelites were about to invade the Promised Land, Moses sent out spies. He would later say that he did this at the request of the people [Deuteronomy 1:22]. Perhaps this showed a lack of Israelite confidence in God, perhaps it only revealed a lack of self-confidence. In any case, perhaps as a kind of test, God reluctantly agreed to the request.

Choosing to Remember May 27, 2013

"Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces...Remembering is not a neutral act. As we tell and retell the stories of the past, we as individuals and communities choose what to remember and what to forget. We don’t faithfully record the past, rather we reconstruct our past with the needs of contemporary culture clearly in mind – shaping and manipulating the past in order to mold the present.

Shabbat BEHA’ALOTKHA: Where Do You Belong? May 25, 2013

"Where do you belong? What communities are you a part of? How do you know that you really are a welcome member of any group, be it your family, your nation, your church or synagogue? Those questions are always relevant, but perhaps never as poignant as when a nation goes to war. As you look at the striking poster inscribed with the words, “United Behind the Service Star,” note that the organizations listed range from Jewish to Evangelical Christian to Catholic.

Shabbat NASSO, The Nazirite May 18, 2013

"What kind of hair do you have? Do you have long hair, short hair, or no hair at all? If you have hair, what color is it? Is it brown, blonde, white, black, green, red, purple, or something else? What style is your hair? Is it thin, thick, wavy, straight, or curly? Do you have dreadlocks, a mohawk, peyos? Do you show your hair or keep it covered? To what extent does your hairstyle demonstrate affiliation with a particular social/cultural group, or distinction from a group?

Shavuot: The Blessing of Assimilation May 15, 2013

"The Jewish festival of Shavuot – the Feast of Weeks – celebrates the encounter between God and the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. As described in the Biblical book of Exodus the newly freed children of Israel receive the Ten Commandments, establish a covenant with God, and become a holy nation – a distinctive, set apart people, committed to live as a model of justice and righteousness.

The Olympics Return to Germany, 1972 May 9, 2013

Janet R. Kirchheimer’s poem, The Olympics Return to Germany, 1972, appears in Adanna Literary Journal. The issue, Women and War, honors the legacy of poet Adrienne Rich who passed away in March 2012. Ms. Rich has stated that “war is an absolute failure of imagination.”

Read the poem...

From Clal

Brad Hirschfield on Suicide’s Rising Rates and How Faith Could Help May 9, 2013

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade for a variety of reasons. Rabbi Hirschfield says faith can help. Imagine if our faith traditions put dogma and practice behind a central test of whether the faith helps alleviate human despair both within and without the community? What if the true measure of a faith was how well it makes this world we live in a place of greater hope and meaning?

Jacob’s Journey May 9, 2013

Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. has published the first book in his Biblical Narrative (Kernel to Canon) Series. In Jacob’s Journey he relates ‘ chart the development of biblical narrative, which I believe began with a coherent kernel, an original Bible, if you will, and developed through successive additions into the story we have today.

Shabbat BAMIDBAR: A Community of Individuals May 8, 2013

"On the large wall on the 2nd floor as you cross the atrium there is an astonishing array of photos. Older people and young people, the famous and the unknown, men and women, converts and Jews from birth, people of all races, people of a variety of professions. Already on our journey though the history of American Jews, we are compelled to stop here and take notice. We are reminded that there are real people involved in the narratives of history...."

The Off-White Papers May 3, 2013

"...In spite of all the extraordinary technological progress that has taken place since disruptive innovation theory was first posited in 1997 (Innovator's Dilemma, Christensen) certain domains have proved to be quite resistant or slow to adopt change. We have observed that these slow-to-change domains such as education, healthcare, religion, conflict resolution, the environment, politics and the military to name a few represent some of the most critical areas waiting to be disrupted.

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