Clal makes the gifts of Jewish tradition accessible tools for spiritual growth and development.
"...I was working City Hall one day when two guests came in with two little girls. One was in a wheel chair and the other one looked like she had just seen death. Both were cut and bruised and the one in the wheelchair had her arm in a cast. The two women were actually nurses from a hospital and were asking for a refund on the girl’s tickets, something we avoided doing at all costs. When I asked why they told me the story.
"Observation is a key life skill, and it’s one we are losing rapidly. I know I’m guilty of looking down at my phone more than up at the sky, and so I often don’t even know what I’m missing.
Two poems, Demure Origins and Fury: In Praise of Stone, collaboratively written by Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer and Jaclyn Piudik, Ph.D., a writing instructor at the University of Toronto, appear in Young Ravens Literary Review. The poems are from their series on creation.
To read the poems....
From Young Ravens Literary Review
"...On the instruction of their trainers, Pokémon battle one another to see who will prevail. When they are in circumstances of extraordinary extremis, they glow with an inner light and then evolve into new forms with new names. When a Pokémon evolves, it retains the memories, relationships, and general personality of its previous form. But it also changes, growing into a new version of itself with new skills and abilities, denoted by its new name.
"...But on a deeper level, I think there’s a lot that will still speak to us. While technology accelerates rapidly, the speed of change in human nature is glacial. Our brains’ wiring, our need for connection, and our deepest fears and most fervent desires haven’t changed much in hundreds of thousands of years. And Black Mirror is not really about the technology; it’s about how we fragile and imperfect humans are grappling with an ever-changing world.
"It happens every year like clockwork.
"This fall, nine Hillel outposts across North America started testing out whether Jewish organizations can become more relevant by developing a radically ‘user-centric’ mindset and then building all of their other institutional priorities, structures and communication in support of that mindset.
"...Before I can reach club security though, one of the bouncers calls me from behind, yelling a question I do not understand in German. When I confirm he’s talking to me, he switches to English and begins translating his scary counterpart’s questions. The frightening bouncer speaking in German is Sven Marquardt, who the NYTimes described when reviewing his photography: “His lower lip is pierced twice, and a pointed metal bar runs through his septum.
"Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night? I was, but I’ve been taking a course — well, officially I’ve been teaching a course — on this very subject, and now I am not afraid.
Don’t get me wrong; there is plenty to fear in these uncertain times. Somehow, though, learning about all the things people feared in previous centuries and how they accounted for things they couldn’t explain has given me a fresh perspective...."
"I am a rabbi. I am 46 years old. I am also the granddaughter and grand-niece of Germans who were and are not Jewish. What that means is that my grandfather and my great-uncles were in the German army during WWII, during the Holocaust.