Personal Growth

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

Is Hebrew Porn Really So Bad? March 8, 2013

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield explains that our reaction to Playboy's announcement of a new Hebrew language edition should not automatically be negative.

From Odyssey Networks,

R' Irwin Kula on the Rabbi in the Public Square March 6, 2013

"Rabbi Irwin Kula offered a session called Rabbi in the Public Square. We'd been talking a lot about how we do our work within this visible networked world of social media, and what it's like to feel so visible (on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube), and he noted that "Religious people have long known that we're always seen.

LEAD Students Learn at Clal February 27, 2013

Clal teaching fellow, Janet R. Kirchheimer spoke to a group of college-age Russian speaking Jews who are part of LEAD, a student internship program operated by FEGS and sponsored by UJA Federation of New York. The program brings students together to study leadership and introduce them to the Jewish community. The session offered the students a chance to learn more about what it means to be a Jewish leader, and is part of Clal’s ongoing work with LEAD.

Our Life: Based on a True Story February 27, 2013

"While there were quite a few excellent movies in 2012, my favorite, far and away was “Argo.” I saw it with my wife and another couple, and the film was so well-crafted that my friend was quite literally curled in his seat, covering his eyes and holding his breath during a scene where the only thing happening was the printing of plane tickets. The whole ending was tense, taut and exciting. It was also completely fabricated...."

Brad Hirschfield: An Abortion Lawsuit and the Choice Paradox February 21, 2013

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield addresses the story of a 16-year-old girl’s lawsuit against her parents, saying they were pressuring her to have an abortion. Hirschfield examines the pro-life and pro-choice debate that continues in America, noting the rhetoric in both camps.

From Odyssey Networks,

Brad Hirschfield: Is 'pro-life' now 'pro-choice?' February 19, 2013

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield responds to questions on topics of the day. After a Texas teen sued her parents claiming they were forcing her to have an abortion, pro-life advocates are celebrating a court’s decision to give the teen the right to have her baby. The argument pro-life advocates used in supporting the teen is that she should have the choice of whether or not she wanted to have an abortion — an argument made popular by pro-choice advocates. Will this case redefine the terms pro-life and pro-choice?

Spirituality in the (snow) storm February 11, 2013

"What is it about winter storms? They capture our attention for so many reasons, and not simply the pragmatic concerns related to travel, or the annoyance of all that shoveling. Nemo is no exception...."

Grateful for the Partial February 8, 2013

Rabbi Irwin Kula discusses gratitude as a choice and a skill to be developed, and how being happy in the partial is central to this practice. Just nominated for a 2013 Emmy Award for Best Religion News/Feature!

An Atheist Church? January 23, 2013

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield speaks with John Hall and Kathy Emmons about atheism and the opening of the first atheist church. Hirschfield compares it to the Ethical Culture movement that arose in the early 20th Century. The human need for community is universal. If believers and non-believers could treat one another with more respect, we could engage in real dialogue.


Looking for Light in the New Year January 18, 2013

Rabbi Irwin Kula speaks with Rev. Welton Gaddy about how to break out of a pessimistic mindset, and why we are morally obligated to do so.

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