Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.
"Google the phrase ‘New Year's Resolution’ and you will be inundated with posts of two basic varieties:
- Variety A includes all the analyses of who makes the resolutions (as many as 75% of us), what they are about (over half related to health and fitness) and how few of us stick with them more 2-4 weeks (about 24%).
"In the 1970s and 1980s, if someone referenced ‘The Wall’ they were likely referring to the Berlin Wall (or the Pink Floyd album). Today, mention of ‘The Wall’ likely refers to the Western Wall (the Kotel) in Jerusalem.
One of the wonderful benefits of being part of the Clal family is our relationship to a remarkable network of writers, thinkers, and artists at the forefront of making Jewish wisdom, thought, and practice accessible, meaningful, and impactful. Joshua Halberstam, one of these remarkable people and award winning author, scholar, professor of philosophy and education and Clal Associate, has just published a beautiful and wise book titled, The Blind Angel: New Old Chassidic Tales. It is a contemporary rendering of Chassidic tales that his father Rabbi Tovia Halberstam, a scion of leading Chassidic dynasties, told to audiences of thousands on the Yiddish radio in New York over a period of twenty-five years. Joshua masterfully preserves the authentic religious sensibility and charm of the tales. He opens a window to a world that is unfamiliar and intriguing to many while capturing the universal pleasure, insights, and wisdom in these deceptively complex stories.
"What question will guide your New Year’s resolutions this year? What will be the focus of your self-improvement plan?
Maybe it’s presumptuous of me to imagine you have a key question...."
By Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
Brad Hirschfield reflects on how religion played a role in world events this year. For him, three stories come to mind: a) ISIS and radical Islamic terrorists, b) the influential Pope Francis and c) the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality decision. Together, all three topics inspire him to consider a larger question, "How will we work out the balance between faith and freedom?" Watch the video for more insight and discussion.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"‘Merry Christmas,’ says this pulpit rabbi and co-chair of the Jewish Renewal movement. Regardless of our theologies and beliefs, the message of Christmas is worthy for Jews to think deeply about – but we need to get clear about what we understand the real message of Christmas to be...."
"Go to any wedding, and in many ways, you will hear the same phrases: ‘They are so good together.’ ‘They're such a cute couple!’ Or at a funeral, you're likely to hear how much that person loved their family and was dedicated to their work. So is every funeral or every wedding nearly identical? Of course not. Each person has their own story, their own journey. But why is it that we tend to hear the same stories over and over in different contexts?..."
"Dear Max Chan Zuckerberg,
Welcome to this world! Now that you are old enough to read this letter, your father is no longer the eighth richest person in the world. As you know, when you were born your parents announced the funding of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with 99% of their Facebook shares, which at the time of your birth meant a donation of about $45 billion...."
"From Odyssey Networks' Faith on the Record series: Believe it or not, a church in Germany and a church in New Jersey are both going to celebrate the Christmas story by incorporating characters from George Lucas' Star Wars movie franchise. To many, this mash-up seems shocking. Is it sacreligious? Is it smart? Consider this: ‘Every sacred practice demands a little bit of borrowing from a previous culture so that it can be understood.’ Watch my video for more insight and discussion."
"...Last week, the idea of what Hanukkah looks like was changed forever by the improbable confluence of one young Israeli man, three Romanians, two French women, one young man from Washington and his not-yet-Jewish partner, an older Jewish couple from Miami and their six gentile friends, eight or nine children of mixed ages and their parents, and 20-some adults of all ages from all over the U.S. and many from farther afield.