Clal offers new perspectives on contemporary issues, bringing Jewish insights to the American public.
"...[Gladwell's book David and Goliath is]...a fascinating book which spoke deeply to me about three things, and troubled me a little about one thing...Be cautious about celebrating adversity, especially someone else’s, even as a path to great achievement. Pain may be a great teacher, and I am all for making the best of a bad situation, but I would rather find other paths to learning than adversity and suffering, no matter how powerful those latter paths can be. Wouldn’t you?..."
This week, NASA announced that they plan to do the "first life sciences experiment on another world" in 2015 when they send a terrarium with basil, turnips and cress to the moon via their Lunar Plant Growth Habitat project. It's exciting not just on its own merits, but for the message of hope and optimism it sends , says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield , "we don't just build what we need in the present, but we actually invest the future because in investing in the future we are actually creating the world we hope our children and grandchildren will inherit."
"Call it a simple coincidence, call it Thanksgivukah, call it a once in a lifetime opportunity to integrate the quintessentially American and the quintessentially Jewish, but whatever you call it, celebrate the abundance and possibility in your life this year, as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap...."
"...Spanish Portuguese Jews have celebrated this holiday in Jamaica since our arrival here in Port Royal more than 360 years ago. German/English Jews have also celebrated the Festival of Lights since their arrival here in the 18th century. Today, we gather together as a united community to light the Hanukkah menorah and celebrate the perpetuation of our identities as Jews on this beautiful island.
"Whether you will celebrate “just” Thanksgiving, “only” Hanukkah, both separately or the wonderful mash up going by many names, my favorite being Thanksgivukkah, you can make the whole thing happier and more meaningful by following a few simple steps. Not to mention that in taking these steps, you will be walking in the path of the original heroes of both the Thanksgiving and the Hanukkah stories..."
"Hanukkah is an ancient Jewish holiday that has truly come into its own in the context of America. The historic victory of the ancient Maccabees and the miracle of oil postdate the biblical era, so while the events were marked through the generations with lighting of lights and eating special foods, it remained a lesser holiday..."
Based on the bestselling book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin, Stars of David adapts the stories of well known Jewish personalities into humorous and touching songs. Among the personalities celebrated are Andy Cohen, Gloria Steinem, Kenneth Cole, Fran Drescher, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Mike Wallace and Norman Lear and more. The stars’ stories have been adapted into amusing and often moving songs by award-winning writers.
This week, America sees the convergence of Thanksgiving and the beginning of Hanukkah, a rare quirk of calendar synchronicity that hasn't happened in over a hundred years and won't happen again for thousands more. At first glance, these two celebrations don't seem to have much in common, but look deeper at the stories of the Pilgrims and the Maccabees, says Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, "Each is a celebration of possibility and in our own ability to accomplish great things, even in the face of really overwhelming odds."
"...Have you ever clearly known what the world needed from you?
American writer Frederick Buechner observed, “The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet," (Wishful Thinking, 1973). When we align our own passion and abilities with a need the world has, we experience the deep gladness Buechner talks about.
Brad Hirschfield talks with Dan Mitchell about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate values that are deeply rooted in both Biblical history and the sacred story of how the United States came to be. Being grateful for what one has been given or has earned is the key to being happy. Both holidays have core stories about being grateful and their celebration on the same day is a big coincidence.