Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"Summer is here. The sun is high and hot, the days are long. All I want to do is sit back and relax with a good book. What to read? –Nothing too weighty but still something that will keep my interest. I asked around and these are the summer reads my rabbi friends recommend and my notes on why they make my list! Let me know if you have others I should add to my list...."
"The summer months usher in vacations from school and shul. We tend to lose the weekly Torah portions from Shavuot (early June) through the High Holy Days. Thus we lose the dog days of the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy; Israel's trudging through the wilderness in search of the Promised Land. In doing so, we also lose some of the most valuable lessons brought about from the narrative...."
After an historic vote in the UK whether to leave or remain in the EU, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield considers what it means to have Independence, to be Dependent and whether there is room for Interdependence. Whatever your views on Europe “this as an opportunity to improve on our relationships, whether national, international or personal.” View Rabbi Hirschfield's discussion below.
From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD
"...One of the things that my fiancé and I have discussed quite a bit recently is what rituals might change in our lives once we are married. This is not only about the joining together of two people with two different sets of backgrounds, experiences, and traditions, but it's also about thinking about what marriage represents in our evolving individual and collective identities...."
"...The Israelites had the Tent of Meeting as their place of strength and their reference point to guide them along their journey. For us, appreciating and living in each moment as it comes can be our source of strength and our reference point. If we are feeling adrift or that we've strayed from where we wanted to be, before we try to get back, our first step has to be our ability to say, ‘Regardless of how I feel about this situation, it is what it is.
"...There I saw Marsha for the first time. She was already hovering between life and death. And there as well was her daughter Amanda lying in the same bed, with her arms wrapped tightly around her mother. Amanda looked up at me and said, ‘Why is this happening?’ And I blurted out, ‘I don’t know.’ I did not know what else to say. All those years of reading theology and studying Jewish philosophy abandoned me in an instant...."
"...For me, when I actually visualize in anticipation for a milestone, important feelings and thoughts come up. Generally the feelings that emanate are exactly the ones, which inhibit our ability to be present later on. So, let the feelings arise and then explore and dig into them, even and especially when they feel painful. Happy events can sometimes bring up uncomfortable and even sad thoughts. Resolving all of that gives us the chance to take in all of the sweetness of our joy...."
"Are you one of those people who envies teachers for having summers off? It's okay...I used to be like you, because I was one of those teachers who worked every summer at camp. I learned quickly that teaching hours at camp are even more intense than in school, and when the camp session ended I needed at least a week to recover before returning to my classroom...."
Andrew Hahn, the Kirtan Rabbi, arranged and performs Shalom Aleichem set to Bob Dylan's song, "Don't Think Twice It's Alright."
To listen to his inspiring performance, click here.
"...So I've decided...if I can't find it, maybe I should found it. Feel free to join me. I've long had fantasies of sitting with a bunch of mystically oriented, open-minded, and open-hearted souls, discussing the biggest questions with warmth, compassion, love, and a desire to understand. When I consider this fantasy from just the right angle, it seems very possible, and maybe even necessary...."