Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.
"...In a potentially bold stroke, Rabbis Irwin Kula and Brad Hirschfield of Clal – the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, think they have a way to unite academia and the wider Jewish community. The goal: to bring the ideas uncovered by those postdoc fellows to Jews in the pews, and those beyond the synagogue. And in that way to ‘reimagine Judaism on the ground,’ according to Rabbi Kula.
"Each year, a group of the world’s leading Judaic studies scholars gather at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania to study a topic that has the potential to shape not only their chosen field, but also contemporary Jewish culture.
"...it comes down to the fact that most people want tidy answers to even the most complex and disturbing questions. In fact, for many folks, that is when they want those answers most and conspiracy theories answer that need. In that regard, we are all in this together -- whether we like conspiracy theories or not, most of us want answers to life's questions...."
"...the Jewish community (or more accurately, our multiple Jewish communities since we are not monolithic) must hold candid conversations about whether we want to prioritize a Judaism where Jews identify culturally or morally but not necessarily religiously. The Pew Study makes clear that this is the reality for the vast majority of non-Orthodox Jews in America. But this is NOT a new conversation, despite what demographers might claim.
Telling the truth is usually right. But can it also sometimes be wrong? If so, when? And why? Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, a bestselling author, renowned scholar, and Senior Clal Associate, explains when honesty isn't the best policy.
From PragerU, 10/12/15
Wow! Clal's Rabbi Andrew Hahn and the Grammys!
We are so excited and proud that Clall Rabbi Andrew Hahn’s album NONDUAL is under consideration for a Grammy nomination to the 58th Grammy Awards. Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D. — the Kirtan Rabbi — has created a new genre of music and prayer, that is both traditional and innovative, and which transports, elevates, uplifts, enlightens, and inspires.
"...It's worth noting: Sadness is not the same as depression. The book distinguishes between the two, and so do I. Depression flattens me and makes life feel un-liveable. Sadness is different.
Feeling sad hurts, of course. Sadness can come in waves so intense they take my breath away for a time. But the emotion passes, and in its wake I feel the joy of being alive. And sometimes, on rare occasions, I can feel that joy even while sadness is present...."
"...Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel asked a rhetorical question during his last interview, 10 days before he passed away. ‘Should the Metropolitan Museum try to introduce [a rule] that all paintings should look alike?’ He continued, ‘I should like to suggest that all human faces should look alike – how would you respond to my proposal?’ Of course, we would be dissatisfied in such a homogenized world.
"Last week Rabbi Heidi Hoover wrote on this blog:
"I believe that intermarriage has become a scapegoat for the American Jewish community. If we have failed to raise Jews who love Judaism and can’t imagine their lives without some kind of Jewish practice, then it doesn’t matter who they marry — their commitment to the practice of Judaism will not be strong. If we have succeeded at raising Jews who love Judaism and can’t imagine their lives without some kind of Jewish practice, then it doesn’t matter who they marry — Jewish practice will be part of their lives and that of their families."
I think she is 100 percent correct...."
"...while there are always aspects of our reality beyond our control, Scripture generally insists that we are not marionettes whose strings are simply being pulled by forces outside our control. We are agents in the unfolding drama of our own lives. Ours is perpetually the choice: either to act like victims of our circumstances, or to adopt the more challenging and more painful, but ultimately more productive, path of making our own fates...."