Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
Rabbi Irwin Kula serves as scholar in Residence at Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation in Mercer Island, WA on March 27 and 28th. The congregation’s theme for the weekend is “Re-Imagining American Jewish Life,” and topics include “What is Shabbat’s Job?” and “Beyond the Tribe: Judaism as a Path of Human Flourishing.”
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From Clal 03/26/15
"...Soon we’ll sit around our tables turning toward one another as we re-tell our sacred story by way of questions and answers exchanged between the generations of our families and community. The mitzvah of the Seder is to teach and learn from all who are present at our tables, all the archetypes and all the paths of Torah we represent. We contribute our divergent perspectives so that we can collectively envision the biblical redemption as relevant to us, here and now..."
"...service to others marks our celebration of freedom from almost the moment the seder begins, where we fill the cups of others and rely on them to do so for us. Customs, traditions, etiquette — they all send messages. The custom that at the seder each person’s cup is filled for them by another guest sends a powerful message indeed: Serving others, not self-service, is actually the highest expression of freedom..."
"My teacher, Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of CLAL, asked a group of Rabbis Without Borders fellows recently: Do people see us as necessary – conduits, guides, connectors for them in their Jewish life? Do people come to rabbis and ask deep questions they are struggling with? Do they seek us in times of need and celebration?
"... I can honestly see benefits and costs to many parenting approaches - each of which seems to get 15 minutes of fame. I believe each family needs to figure out what works for them, as long as it doesn't threaten the health of others. And that is my only real objection to vaccine conspiracy theorists..."
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"...Islam still needs to go through such a reformation. By not saying this (in his attempt to provide context), the President came off as aloof about the real threats of this present-day, cancerous form of Islam.When we focus on the brutality of ISIS and call it evil, crazy or power-mad, we miss the point.
"We seem to be endlessly fascinated with the topic of forgiveness, more often about granting it or receiving it than about seeking it. But the following news video about a mother in Texas - who invited a local station's cameras to accompany her as she confronted a remorseful drunk driver, imprisoned and awaiting trial for gravely injuring her young child - actually raises all three issues..."
This week retired baseball player Curt Schilling made headlines when he went after the Twitter trolls who posted offensive comments about his daughter. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal and co-founder and executive editor of TheWisdomDaily.com, agrees that Schilling did the right thing, but cautions that we should "name and shame appropriately but then not make one bacd act the sum total of a person's life."
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...Tonight we are told to don masks and disguises to celebrate Purim. We add layers of truth and dare by virtue of our celebration. When the raucous Purim parties end we will arrive home sweaty with joy. The first thing we will want to do is rip off our costumes. We will want to stop pretending. We will want to be us again. We will look in the mirror and see the truth of who we are without façade..."
"...As a mother, I know what this rite of passage meant to Rebecca. We both want our children to feel they have a place in the synagogue and in the Jewish community. As a teacher, I share Rebecca’s belief that “kids with autism are so capable, it just takes time and patience to help them succeed in their own way.” Each of us strives to fulfill the biblical instruction, “Teach a child according to her path; she will not swerve from it even in old age.” (Proverbs 22:6)..."