Politics & Culture

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

The Wisdom Daily: The Israel-Hamas War: Hope on the Edge July 22, 2014

"Use your words," I remember saying to my children when they wanted to hit or bite during those terrible twos when children don't have the words to adequately communicate their feelings. Well, the words of diplomats and politicians, political scientists and pundits, intelligence and military experts, artists, religious leaders, and peace activists have all failed. We are killing each other rather than using our words.

The Wisdom Daily: Five Steps to Raising Kind Kids July 21, 2014

"The five steps described in this Washington Post article are the result of Harvard Psychologist, Richard Weissbourd and the Making Caring Common project which he directs. Like most lists, this one may make it seem far simpler than it is to actually accomplish the goal. On the other hand, the list could actually be distilled down to an even simpler, single step – and one which is even more immediately in each of our control than the kids we produce:..."

The Wisdom Daily: The Man in the Moon July 21, 2014

"Are we better or worse off as a global community today than we were 45 years ago? If you were around then, do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969? Remember the wonder, hope, and possibility you felt when “with one small step” Neil Armstrong made history becoming the first person to set foot on the moon?"
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Brad Hirschfield on Ironic Victory in Greece, NY July 18, 2014

"This week, fanatical religion and absolutist atheism lost and the rest of us won" says Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-Founder and Executive Editor of TheWisdomDaily.com. Their town meeting opened with an invocation by local atheist Dan Courtney. The U.S. Supreme Court's recently ruled in the case of Galloway v. Greece, NY that prayer was acceptable in public meetings -- a case brought by a group of local atheists.

The Wisdom Daily: Proud To Say “I’m Sorry” July 17, 2014

"In addition to this seeming to be my week to reflect on verbal responses to new situations (earlier this week, I wrote about the art of accepting compliments), the whole question of when to say "I'm sorry", and what those words mean, strikes very close to home with me. My guess is that it does the same for you. We hear those two little words so often, and probably say them as often, but what do they mean? Are they an expression of passive regret about a particular circumstance e.g.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: How News and Social Media Can Hurt Us July 17, 2014

"Lately I've been talking with rabbinic colleagues about how best to minister to our congregants who are struggling with the news out of Israel/Palestine. We're hearing from people who are unable to fall asleep because they can't stop thinking about the images of destruction and grief, or who wake up and immediately start agonizing about the conflict or worrying about loved ones..."

West Hills Rabbi Dedicates Jewish Fast to Nonviolence, Breaks Fast with Muslim Friend July 16, 2014

"On Tuesday, Rabbi Tsafi Lev of West Hills fasted on the Hebrew calendar day that commemorates the breach of Jerusalem’s walls before the destruction of the Second Temple. Although Lev doesn’t normally abstain from food and drink on this minor Jewish fast day, he wanted to do so this year in the name of nonviolence as intense fighting continued in Israel, Gaza and beyond..."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Should We Bring Back Arranged Marriage? July 16, 2014

"Not long ago, a friend of mine posted an excellently snarky commentary about a new television show called, Married at First Sight. On this show, potential—I don’t know what you call them…”contestants,” perhaps?—fill out personality assessments and undergo “spiritual counseling,” and then four experts narrow down several hundred people to three couples. Then they get married. Without meeting one another first. "

The Wisdom Daily: The Art of Accepting Compliments July 15, 2014

"Jesus may teach that it is better to give than to receive, but it may be that receiving is actually the more difficult task, at least when it comes to compliments. Most people are actually quite generous when it comes to offering compliments. Accepting them is a whole other deal.Personally, I often find it really difficult to simply and graciously accept a compliment. How about you?

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: YOU Can Bring Peace in the Middle East! July 14, 2014

"Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15th is a fast day in Jewish tradition. It is called the 17th of Tammuz, named after the date on the Hebrew calendar. It is a minor fast, meaning that the fast lasts only from sun up to sun down. It commemorates, among other things, the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls which led to the destruction of the Second Temple..."

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