Personal Growth

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

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: What Does It Mean To Be A Good Teacher July 24, 2016

...."If the task of the teacher is to teach from what is known, it follows that anyone who does not heed this admonition is in real trouble. Lack of preparation or background only insures chaos in the classroom. Why then, do we constantly place educators in positions where they are forced to teach subjects outside of their toolbox? Why do we try to coerce them to teach topics they never prepared for?

Rabbis Without Borders In the Field: Super Mario Brothers and an Inclusive Jewish Community July 22, 2016

"The sounds bring me back to my childhood. Having grown up in the 80s, Super Mario Brothers and Nintendo were big parts of my life. But I don’t just love this video because of the adrenaline rush I feel as I see and hear Mario gathering coins and other special items and bouncing around on the screen as he rushes to the flagpole and ultimately to his goal of saving Princess Toadstool. I love this particular video because of its message: we need to include people with diverse physical needs...."

The Wisdom Daily: Exploring My Imperfection During My Divorce July 21, 2016

"...The decision to end a marriage may happen in a definitive manner. Two people reach an agreement to end things; it's over; there's no going back. But experiencing that ending...? That's ongoing. I can tell you when we reached the beginning of the end, but I don't know when we will reach ‘the end.’ Even once the divorce is finalized, the emotional journey of disentangling two lives continues...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Bringing Rabbis and Scientists Together July 21, 2016

"Do Jews view science differently than other religious people do? What topics are most pressing or interesting in the Jewish community? And have Jews bifurcated their sense of identity when it comes to Judaism and science?

These questions launched a new initiative run by my organization, Sinai and Synapses, called ‘Scientists in Synagogues....’"

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: A Funeral for a Friend July 20, 2016

"In my second year of rabbinic school, I was asked to officiate at the funeral of a friend's dog. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought of the request as a bit foolish. I hadn't officiated at a human being's funeral yet and my first funeral was to be one of a dog? I wasn't sure what Jewish law said on the matter. I wondered if I was acting in a sacrilegious manner...."

The Wisdom Daily: What Google Maps Taught Me About Faith July 20, 2016

"Faith can be defined as the triumph of hope and future possibility over knowledge and past experience. And that is exactly the kind of faith experience I had Sunday when driving home from Visiting Day at the camp where one of my kids works and another is a camper.

The Wisdom Daily: How To Stop Terror From Closing Our Hearts July 20, 2016

"...In this age of terror the ordinary and everyday can become terrifying. Going to work. Traveling on a plane. Walking through Times Square (or celebrating Bastille Day) can instill fear rather than offer the revelry for which these should only be known. This of course is the very goal of the terrorists who are bent on murder and destruction. They seek to upend the ordinary. They plot to terrify the mundane. Their very goal is to amplify fear...."

Clal's Janet R. Kirchheimer's Poems Featured on The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals Website July 19, 2016

"I was eleven the spring my father singed his eyebrows off
while burning down pear trees."

Three poems by Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer appear on The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. The Institute offers a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is intellectually sound, spiritually compelling, and emotionally satisfying.

Read the poems....

The Wisdom Daily: Pokémon Go And Making Out During Schindler's List July 19, 2016

"...Are there places where fun and games are simply not appropriate, or does the answer to those questions depend upon who is asking them, who is being asked, and toward what end the game is being played? Those are real issues arising from the entertainment juggernaut known as Pokémon Go...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meet Me at 10th Street July 19, 2016

"Tonight at 6 p.m. we will gather at the 10th Street entrance to Piedmont Park, in spiritual protest of police brutality and in honor of black lives. We will bring our ‘spiritual tools and gifts to usher in love, peace, and clarity for the road towards justice,’ as the Facebook event page instructs. We will assemble in the park to share these gifts, to chant the words #BlackLivesMatter...."

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