Politics & Culture

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

Finding Hope for Israel and Gaza July 11, 2014

In light of the recent escalation of violence in Israel and the Gaza strip, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield reminds us that whichever side of the argument you stand on, arguing about the facts won't get us any closer to peace but demonstrating compassion for those lost on both sides, may help us get closer to it. He urges us to remember the names of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar and feel compassion for all four boys not just those we identify with.

From Odyssey Networks’s FAITH ON THE RECORD

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Liberalism, Loyalty and Israel July 10, 2014

"...what has been most challenging for me personally has been the internal tension between my liberal values and my loyalty to Israel—and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way...Morality, Haidt argues, isn’t just one thing. It has five main different facets to it—care for others, justice and fairness, loyalty, respect for authority, and a sense of sanctity. Liberals, he notes, tend to focus mainly on the first two (care and justice), and feel much less strongly about the other three (loyalty, authority and sanctity).

The Wisdom Daily: The Courage To Live, The Courage To Die July 9, 2014

"How do you live well? And when the times comes, how do you die well? There is no single or simple answer to either of those questions, but there is real wisdom that can help us all to answer those questions better. This story in the New York Times and its accompanying video describe, with exquisite poignancy, different patients' experiences in a long term care hospital i.e. a place where people may reside for years, but very few of whom will ever recover from the diseases which brought them there.

The Wisdom Daily: The American Dream: A Post Independence Day Reflection July 8, 2014

"What does America mean to you? What does America stand for? Over Independence Day, I read the Declaration of Independence as a sacred practice. If there is one phrase in the Declaration of Independence that defines the American way it is that we are "endowed by (our) creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". What a remarkable intuition about what America is.

The Wisdom Daily: Athletic Stars In Their 50's, 60's and Beyond: Inspiring or Intimidating? July 8, 2014

"This collection of 15 competitors in the Senior Olympics are older, but hardly elderly. Their stories are amazing, but are they more inspiring or intimidating? I mean how can any of us do that stuff?..."


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The Wisdom Daily: Happy Birthday Forrest Gump July 8, 2014

"Twenty years ago this week, Forrest Gump premiered in theaters across the country. Later that year it won the Oscar for Best Picture, and apparently, has also been polarizing audiences ever since.
As this piece points out, Forrest Gump has been inspiring cheers and provoking jeers almost from the day it opened. What’s up with that?..."


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Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: A Special Person at a Special Time: Reb Zalman’s Jewish Renewal July 7, 2014

"Last Thursday, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, passed away, leaving his bodily existence for…well, for whatever comes next..."

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By Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders blog on MyJewishLearning.com

Brad Hirschfield on Murdered Israeli Students: Life Wins Out Over Death July 3, 2014

This week the bodies of 3 Israeli teenagers who had been missing for several weeks were found in a field not far from where they were last seen. The murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Graenkel and Gilad Shaer has ignited passions across the world and from different political camps. But this is not the time for "politics and posturing" according to Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com.

As We Lift Up Our Eyes, Remember That Their Eyes Are Now Our Eyes July 3, 2014

"On the news. In the papers. On the internet. On social media. On our bimah — where we placed them for all to see, along with yellow ribbons, less than two weeks ago. In a moment of despair, the psalmist wrote in the 121st Psalm: Esa einai el heharim… I lift up my eyes to the mountains..." Read more...

Remembering the Shoah through Poetry and Film July 3, 2014

"Israeli novelist and survivor Aharon Appelfeld stated, “After the death of the last witnesses, the remembrance of the Holocaust must not be entrusted to historians alone. Now comes the hour of artistic creation.” Taking this statement literally, I’m producing BE•HOLD...."

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By Janet R. Kirchheimer from Together

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