Personal Growth

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

Desert Trials September 17, 2013

Like beautifully layered rock formations lining the walls of a desert canyon, so is the Biblical text as Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. makes it accessible to modern readers. Story is piled upon story until the foundations are invisible. Those foundations tell a different story—one that only a trained geologist can tease from the rock, one that only a Biblical philologist, trained in the dissection of literature, can find in the text.

Colorado floods of ‘biblical proportions’ September 16, 2013

"What is it about weather stories that engage us even when the story has no real effect on us? I think it is because weather is one of the few things left, before which actually feel small. Weather stories, or more accurately their enduring popularity, speak to the sense of awe and majesty that have departed from so many areas of our lives...."

Why Abraham Killed Isaac September 16, 2013

Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. makes scripture relevant to modern readers. In this book, he shares his view that in this early version of the Abraham story Abraham the patriarch gave his wife, Sarah, to a local monarch who may have impregnated her with Isaac. The purity of the Israelite bloodline is not in doubt, however, since Abraham killed Isaac to atone for his sins before Isaac had a chance to procreate.

Leaving It Half Finished: Yom Kippur September 14, 2013

"Ordinary items can often capture great meaning. In 1913, Eva Baen joined more than 2 million primarily Eastern European Jews who came to America between 1880-1924. Unlike some, Eva did not leave a difficult life. On the contrary, her family was financially comfortable, her parents loving, yet she longed for something more..."

A Jewish memorial to WTC victims September 13, 2013

"It was the troubling current state of world affairs that prompted Rabbi Irwin Kula to post online this past Wednesday a recording he made back in 2002, on the first anniversary of 9/11...." Read more...

By Renee Ghert-Zand from The Times of Israel

BE*HOLD accepted to the Independent Film Project’s (IFP), Independent Film Week. September 9, 2013

BE•HOLD, a performance film of Holocaust poetry featuring performances by poets, survivors, and actors, has been accepted to the Independent Film Project’s (IFP), Independent Film Week. Taking place September 15-19, 2013 at Lincoln Center, this one-of-a-kind event brings the international film and media community to New York City to advance new projects and support the future of storytelling by nurturing the work of both emerging and established independent artists and filmmakers. Janet R.

Recording the Past: HA’AZINU September 7, 2013

"Chapter 32 of Deuteronomy depicts Moses offering his final words of wisdom to the Israelites in poetic verse, forty years after leaving Egypt. He struggles to do what so many leaders do nearing their deaths: convey the significance of his experiences to those who themselves never experienced them..."

Returning to the Land of Your Soul: Rosh Hashana September 5, 2013

"A fresh start. A second chance. Who doesn’t want that? Those are the promises of Rosh Hashanah, and those are the promises that brought most of our ancestors to these shores...."

By Rabbi Michael Ross and Rabbi Brad Hirschfield from Sacred Stories: A Living Commentary on American Jewish History and the Hebrew Bible,

Return to Sender September 4, 2013

Return To Sender —

It means more than either the postal service or Elvis ever understood. It’s the promise of Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah and the truth about the creation story September 4, 2013

"Rosh Hashanah is not only New Years according to the Jewish calendar, but also celebrates the birthday of the world, or as other rabbinic traditions have it, the birthday of the first humans, as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Either way, Rosh Hashanah teaches important truths about the biblical story of creation — truths we all need, regardless of faith, faithlessness, or any of the myriad ways we think about how either the world or the human race came into existence...."

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