Personal Growth

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

The Wisdom Daily: 8 Destructive Thought Patterns That Threaten Visionaries December 21, 2016

"...What is less well-known is where this list comes from. It originates not from the Bible, but from early Christian theology – with its roots in Stoic philosophy – which designated 8 Thoughts (as opposed to sins) deemed detrimental to the contemplative life. This original list, comprising of Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Sadness, Anger, Acedia, Vainglory and Pride, was compiled by the 4th century theologian and monk, Evagrius Ponticus...."

The Wisdom Daily: In Order To Be Whole You Need To Be Broken December 20, 2016

"On my drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Perfect. Something wasn’t sitting well and I had a nagging feeling that he wasn’t right for the job. Then it struck me, he was perfect, and because he was perfect, he was also flawed.

Rabbis Without Borders In The Field: As Different as Sour Cream and Applesauce, and Yet… December 20, 2016

"It is the season of latkes, which means you will hear many arguments over which condiment is the best to accompany your latkes – sour cream or applesauce. They appear to be as different from one another as two things can be, and yet, they both compliment the latke and make it taste delicious.

The Wisdom Daily: On Embracing An Imperfect Christmas December 19, 2016

"I’ve been thinking about that Christmas a lot lately, in this time of year when our desires for things seem to hit a fever pitch – whether it’s the craving for a new piece of clothing or gadget, or our desire for our lives to look as perfect and happy as a family Christmas card.

The Wisdom Daily: The Reason Kids Climb Trees December 19, 2016

"On a beautiful tree-lined street in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, there is one tree that is not like the others....And it’s on those visits that I come across – no, I think it’s more like seek out – the one tree that stands out among the rest, one that reminds me of how happy I am and always will be, simply for the sake of this tree.

The Wisdom Daily: My Mother's Ballot December 16, 2016

"Tuesday, 8 November 2016 was a day my 82 year old mother had been looking forward to since 1956, the year she voted in her first Presidential election. It was the day she was finally going to get to do what she'd been longing to do for 60 years – vote for a woman to hold the highest office in the United States.

The Wisdom Daily: Am I Living In 1930s Germany? December 15, 2016

"...There have been anti-Semitic incidences, as well as other racist acts. There is a part of me that says, I’ve been through this before, as a daughter of survivors. It’s someone else’s turn to take action. And there is a part of me that is afraid to write this and have it out in the public square. But I know I don’t have a choice. So many were not saved from the Shoah because others were afraid to stand up.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz: There's Something Happening Here December 14, 2016

"In 1967 the Buffalo Springfield issued an anti-Vietnam War song called ‘For What It's Worth’ that began with, ‘There's something happening here. What it is, ain't exactly clear.’ The lyric expresses what I was observing in the Jewish communal landscape over the last decade that inspired me to write Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future (2013).

The Wisdom Daily: Evaluating the Forbes "Most Powerful People" List December 14, 2016

"Forbes released its list of the world's most powerful people this morning, and like all such lists, it means more than most people assume. More, because any time any of us makes lists – be it Santa Claus (it is December after all), Forbes or ‘just’ you and I, we articulate our assumptions and priorities about whatever is being listed – assumptions and priorities which we often overlook. I guess that's the definition of assumptions, huh?..."

The Bizarro Morality of Allying With 'Israel-friendly' Bigots December 13, 2016

"It seems that most of us believe that how we get the results we want matters just as much as getting those results. Maybe more. In other words, I’d rather make a lot less money legally than steal a lot of it. I’d be okay with not getting people to listen to me even if I knew they would if I lied to them. I’d rather my kids misbehave than beat them. I find it fascinating, then, that so many of us do not apply this same logic on a larger level. In our communities, in our politics...."

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