Personal Growth

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

The Wisdom Daily: Yom Kippur: The Truth About One’s Truths October 6, 2014

"Yom Kippur is the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. Simply put it is a day-long practice in Reality Therapy. For 25 hours or so the practice is neither to eat nor drink nor make love nor enjoy the comforts and conveniences of life - be it a shower or a smart phone - but to reflect and contemplate our mortality, to feel deeply there is no guarantee that we (or anyone in our life) will even be here tomorrow, to be on our deathbed but be fully conscious.

The Wisdom Daily: We Are More Than the Sum of Our Stories October 2, 2014

"TWD contributor, Amy Shouse wrote a recent post about how we rush to judgment and that "until we know a person's whole story and take a moment to think what it might be like to 'climb into their skin,' we'll miss out on discovering the empathy we have within ourselves..." She was right on. This insight is taken radically and unnervingly further on Yom Kippur, the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar, which begins tomorrow evening...."

The Wisdom Daily: How Elastic is Your Narrative? A TEDxFultonStreet Talk October 2, 2014

"Chrysalis — a hard shell surrounding a young moth in the process of maturation. From the greek, chrysos, meaning gold. Chrysalis is also the name of TEDxFultonStreet’s 2014 conference, and like the name, included people with stories and ideas of how, after a bit of maturation/protection, and the willingness to break out of the shells which often surround us/our hearts/our minds, we can discover golden opportunities...."

For Israel, A Difficult Season Of Reckoning October 1, 2014

"The season of reckoning is upon us. For Jews, the sentiment will likely evoke thoughts of the upcoming Days of Awe. Both the Hebrew month of Elul and then the ten days of repentance that starts with Rosh HaShana and ends with Yom Kippur is the time when Jews are called upon to go into introspection mode. Where we identify particular sins of commission or omission the Jewish tradition calls upon us to repent and to make amends..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Gratitude and Forgiving the Unforgivable September 30, 2014

"A while back I suggested a unique way of doing the chesbon nefesh (soul’s accounting) we are expected to do this time of year. The tools I suggested are useful year round, but they are timely during this season of Teshuva (repentance).As I understand them, the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) rests on two central themes: Gratitude and Forgiveness.

Tzemah Yoreh: Book of Judgment September 29, 2014

In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. explores how did the biblical Isaac die? It may be surprising to know that in the original Genesis account, the angel did not stop Abraham's knife, but let Isaac be sacrificed, severing not only his head but also the continuity between Abraham and Jacob. This companion volume to my Kernel to Canon series tells the original story of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Balaam as the Bible once told it, without embellishments or commentary.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Dear Friend, May You Be Written in the Book of Life September 29, 2014

"May you be Written in the Book of Life” is such a nice phrase to utter at this time of year, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Most years I don’t think much about it. It is easy to ignore the weight of the words when everyone in your life is healthy.This year is different. A close friend is struggling with aggressive breast cancer. Instead of casually saying these words, I am fervently praying them on her behalf..."

The Wisdom Daily: Widen Your View and Pay Hope Forward September 24, 2014

"When you look at the image above, what do you see? What does it make you think? How does it make you feel? When you look in the mirror what do you see? In each case, what we see, and how we think about these images, can create remarkable opportunities and possibilities for us - if we dare to let it be so.

The Wisdom Daily: A Police Officer, a Homeless Black Man and an NBA Star: A Story of Character September 23, 2014

"Obviously, there are serious tensions and real problems between the police and the black community across the country. Every black person in this country knows that being stopped on the street by the police is one of the more dangerous moments in life - something white people cannot understand. Addressing this will require police departments to make significant changes in their legal, political economic, historical, and social structures.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meeting My Palestinian Neighbors For the First Time September 23, 2014

"Nine months ago I opened the front door of my apartment in Alon Shvut and took a 20-minute walk that began to change my life. My wife asked me to reconsider—it might be dangerous, she said—but I went anyway. My heart beat just a little bit faster than usual as I walked through the Arab fields and vineyards that surround my home in the Judean Hills...."

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