Clal builds bridges across communities to encourage pluralism, diversity, and openness.
"...it wasn’t sufficient to prove to your opponent that you were smarter and/or more well-informed, and therefore should be taken seriously. You had to actually listen to what he or she had to say if you wanted to change hearts and minds...how do you stop yourself from always believing that you’re right? Maybe most people won’t admit it, but doesn’t everyone think that people who disagree with them are just wrong?
"‘This really is the death of religion as an important force to repair society,' [Rabbi Irwin] Kula said. 'All that religion has become in America is a force to be used by political powers.'
As a result, on inauguration day, no matter who is praying or what they say, the polarization and politicization of the United States will be on display, Kula said.
Even so, Kula said he’s curious to see what Graham and Hier say in their prayers.
"Imprints," a poem by Clal teaching fellow Janet R. Kirchheimer, is one of the top five popular poems in the online journal, as well as one of the top five most shared articles/poems for 2016. Bearings Online is a journal of Collegeville Institute For Ecumenical Studies, a place of scholarship, worship, dialogue, and community immersed in the Benedictine rhythm of work and prayer.
"I recently received an amazing piece of mail. A large envelope arrived at my office, containing a letter and a bound document. The letter referred to a sermon I gave some 14 years ago. At that time, I encouraged each person present to create an ethical will – a personal statement of values, beliefs, stories – whatever it was that was they believed was their legacy. The bound document accompanying the letter was in fact the writer's ethical will.
"I have always viewed Mother Nature as being synonymous with happiness. It is literally the center of all things ‘Life.’ If you took five minutes right now to step outside and be one with nature, you would experience thousands of things all at once: the subtlety of the earth breathing, the wind blowing onto your face, the sunshine warming your body, the birds tittering in your ears. It's all there, whether we notice it or not.
"...We all love our ghosts, but sometimes we can resent them too. For parents who lost mates and raised children without them, the ghost-mate sometimes looms larger in disembodied legend and longing than they might have if death had not taken them early.
"A strange thing happened in the wake of the election, and is intensifying now that the inauguration is next week.
People want to be together in new and powerful ways...."
By Rabbi Seth Goldstein, a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, from the Rabbis Without Borders Blog on My Jewish Learning.com
"A strange thing happened in the wake of the election, and is intensifying now that the inauguration is next week. People want to be together in new and powerful ways. For all of the talk of division and schism in this country, there also is a galvanizing and unifying force that is bringing people together to work for social change in a way that feels somewhat unprecedented.
"It was shockingly warm for late October in Boston, and I decided to hold my college class outside, on the library's rooftop. There's something magical about that rooftop. On a clear day, sky, city, and sun are all visible, and students often settle into deep yet comfortable conversation as they savor the novelty of a different location.
"...Yes, a false start. Not a bad start, as I met some cool people and we shared belly laughs and writing tips. But also not a true start. Perhaps I needed to learn, for the umpteenth time, to honor my instincts, no matter what. I just need to pay as close attention to them as I do to the car's console, even if they don't flash red and orange and, at times, are as hard to discern as a faint pulse under a thick sweater...."