Politics & Culture

Clal offers new perspectives on contemporary issues, bringing Jewish insights to the American public.

The Wisdom Daily: Exploring My Imperfection During My Divorce July 21, 2016

"...The decision to end a marriage may happen in a definitive manner. Two people reach an agreement to end things; it's over; there's no going back. But experiencing that ending...? That's ongoing. I can tell you when we reached the beginning of the end, but I don't know when we will reach ‘the end.’ Even once the divorce is finalized, the emotional journey of disentangling two lives continues...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Bringing Rabbis and Scientists Together July 21, 2016

"Do Jews view science differently than other religious people do? What topics are most pressing or interesting in the Jewish community? And have Jews bifurcated their sense of identity when it comes to Judaism and science?

These questions launched a new initiative run by my organization, Sinai and Synapses, called ‘Scientists in Synagogues....’"

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: A Funeral for a Friend July 20, 2016

"In my second year of rabbinic school, I was asked to officiate at the funeral of a friend's dog. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought of the request as a bit foolish. I hadn't officiated at a human being's funeral yet and my first funeral was to be one of a dog? I wasn't sure what Jewish law said on the matter. I wondered if I was acting in a sacrilegious manner...."

The Wisdom Daily: What Google Maps Taught Me About Faith July 20, 2016

"Faith can be defined as the triumph of hope and future possibility over knowledge and past experience. And that is exactly the kind of faith experience I had Sunday when driving home from Visiting Day at the camp where one of my kids works and another is a camper.

The Wisdom Daily: How To Stop Terror From Closing Our Hearts July 20, 2016

"...In this age of terror the ordinary and everyday can become terrifying. Going to work. Traveling on a plane. Walking through Times Square (or celebrating Bastille Day) can instill fear rather than offer the revelry for which these should only be known. This of course is the very goal of the terrorists who are bent on murder and destruction. They seek to upend the ordinary. They plot to terrify the mundane. Their very goal is to amplify fear...."

Clal's Janet R. Kirchheimer's Poems Featured on The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals Website July 19, 2016

"I was eleven the spring my father singed his eyebrows off
while burning down pear trees."

Three poems by Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer appear on The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. The Institute offers a vision of Orthodox Judaism that is intellectually sound, spiritually compelling, and emotionally satisfying.

Read the poems....

The Wisdom Daily: Pokémon Go And Making Out During Schindler's List July 19, 2016

"...Are there places where fun and games are simply not appropriate, or does the answer to those questions depend upon who is asking them, who is being asked, and toward what end the game is being played? Those are real issues arising from the entertainment juggernaut known as Pokémon Go...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Meet Me at 10th Street July 19, 2016

"Tonight at 6 p.m. we will gather at the 10th Street entrance to Piedmont Park, in spiritual protest of police brutality and in honor of black lives. We will bring our ‘spiritual tools and gifts to usher in love, peace, and clarity for the road towards justice,’ as the Facebook event page instructs. We will assemble in the park to share these gifts, to chant the words #BlackLivesMatter...."

Rabbis Without Borders In The Field: Trusting in the Big Hands of a Gentle Giant July 18, 2016

"...Who could have imagined? Two and a half years ago I had never met a Palestinian as an equal. I had no idea who they were. Ignorance, prejudice, and generalizations had dominated my thinking. Fear controlled me. And then I become swept up in forming Roots, the Local Israeli Palestinian Initiative for Understanding Nonviolence and Transformation, and in creating the Dignity Center as the physical host for Roots. Indeed, I have been transformed, together with hundreds of other Israelis and Palestinians...."

The Wisdom Daily: The Power of Feeling Sad Before We Get Angry About Tragedy July 18, 2016

"... when I feel crazy mad, I try really heard to neither silence the feeling nor explain away its source. I simply try and shift from “crazy mad” to “crazy sad”, at least for a while. Believe me, I don’t always get there, and it definitely hurts more when I do, because crazy sad doesn’t lend itself to a quick action or response the way that crazy mad does. Crazy sad breaks your heart in ways that crazy mad doesn’t.

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