Personal Growth

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

Kirtan Rabbi in West Hartford, CT Saturday March 1, 2014 7:30pm February 26, 2014

Bring your voices, dancing socks and open hearts to join P'nai Or and Hartford Chants this Saturday for an evening of Hebrew Chant and musical meditation with the Kirtan Rabbi. Featuring: Sarah Gershuny (vocals); Adam Bauer (bass); David Noonan (percussion); other guests; AND most of all: YOU!

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Is the Affluenza Defense Moral? February 24, 2014

A judge in Texas recently set off a firestorm when she sentenced a teenager to 10 years probation for killing four people in a drunk-driving crash. His defense that his judgment was impaired because of his privileged upbringing, or the "affluenza" defense. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of CLAL and co-Founder and Executive Editor of asks "Could we create a culture that combined fewer excuses and more compassion, greater accountability and more genuine understanding?"

Disrupting Disruptive Innovation Theory: The Cathedral and the Bazaar February 19, 2014

Hear the audio from DISRUPTING DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION THEORY Web Chat on February 13, 2014. The second in an exclusive series of conversations with Tribeca Film Festival founder Craig Hatkoff and Rabbi Irwin Kula, it centers on The Cathedral and the Bazaar: How Next-gen Disruptive Innovation will Encourage Cathedrals (incumbents) to Learn How to Dance with the Bazaars (two guys in a garage), and Invite More Disruptions of Consequence.

Disrupting Disruptive Innovation Theory: Lessons from the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards February 18, 2014

Hear the audio from DISRUPTING DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION THEORY Web Chat on January 30, 2014. The first in an exclusive series of conversations with Tribeca Film Festival founder Craig Hatkoff and Rabbi Irwin Kula, it centers on Lessons from the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards — Changing the Way We Think About Change Using the New Calculus of Pop Culture.

The Wisdom Daily: The Secret to Love February 14, 2014

"Americans will exchange close to 20 billion dollars worth of flowers, jewelry, candy, stuffed-animals and cards this Valentine's Day as an expression of romance and love. But Valentine's Day is actually a double-edged sword. On the surface, we celebrate how committed, secure and passionately in love we are. But, the very fact of this holiday and that we feel so much pressure to be romantic and passionate reveals a deeper more challenging truth. Our love for each other is always far more unstable, unpredictable, and fragile than we are ready to admit. (For instance, four out of ten couples break up between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14.) On Valentine's Day we often hear talk about having found our soul mate. But contrary to popular culture, we don't find our soul mate - we co-create our soul mate..."

On the Rabbis Without Borders Retreat and Success February 12, 2014

"This week, I attended the Rabbis Without Borders alumni retreat. Apart from being a rejuvenating and prayerful few days filled with Torah and an opportunity to be constantly Amazed (in the Heschelian sense of the word) by the groundbreaking and humbling work of my colleagues, I find myself ruminating on one session in particular.Forty-plus rabbis of different denominations brainstorming what it means to be successful.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: On my two rabbinic communities, Rabbis Without Borders and ALEPH February 12, 2014

"What does it mean to be a rabbi without borders?" people ask. "Is it like Doctors Without Borders? Do you travel the world?" Not in the sense of accruing more stamps on my passport. The travel is between perspectives and viewpoints, not between nations.

The Wisdom Daily: The Olympic Spirit February 11, 2014

" I am no kill-joy! I love watching the Olympics. I root and feel pride for my tribe (USA! USA!) all dressed in their Ralph Lauren designed outfits. I get goose bumps (with appropriate 1960's self-consciousness) when our national anthem is played at the gold medal ceremony of one of our winners.
But there is a truth about the Olympics that challenges those of us who believe in a universalism that can both include the best and transcend the worst of our particular cultural contexts and tribal loyalties. If we are honest, the Olympic spirit of universalism is maintained only because the International Olympic Committee denies there are fundamental ethical principles that apply to all and avoids making any ethical judgments..."

Tzemah Yoreh: Numbers-Israel in the Desert February 10, 2014

According to Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D, in this earliest version of Israel’s desert sojourn, the Israelites did not spend forty years in the desert but rather only a few months. A much younger Moses actually led them into the land; they didn’t have to wait for Joshua or for God. Balaam, the foreign magician hired by the Moabite king to protect him from Israel, is strong-armed by God into blessing Israel, instead of doing it voluntarily.

The Wisdom Daily: When Being Out Of Place Is Totally In Place February 7, 2014

"I received a picture and caption this morning and while very funny and specifically Jewish, it speaks to a deep wisdom about the benefits of being out of place, and certainly ones not limited to Jewish or even religion in general. In the picture a Jewish prayer shawl, typically worn at morning prayers, has been placed as a table cloth. The caption accompanying the image read, "This is what happens when your housekeeper set the table".
Let's leave aside the presumption that people all have housekeepers to set their tables, as well as the presumption that housekeepers, by definition, are not Jewish and therefore would not realize their "mistake", and see this actually as a really moving idea, and one which we could use in lots of ways with all sorts of objects..."

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