Politics & Culture

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

Brad Hirschfield on A Wedding Made Unforgettable by Dad’s Decision October 2, 2015

At Brittany Peck's wedding in Ohio last month, she reportedly worried about who should walk her down the aisle. Putting her feelings first, her father surprised guests when he reached a hand out to Brittany's stepfather, pulled him from his seat, put their animosity aside and insisted that he participate in the bride's entrance. The wedding photos taken by Delia Blackburn have gone viral, and it's clear why according to Brad Hirschfield: "There are probably more good partners in our lives than we realize [and] the kind of love and open-hearted honesty that led to that moment? We all need more of it."

From Odyssey Networks’ FAITH ON THE RECORD

The Wisdom Daily: Can You Learn to Love Navigating Transitions? October 1, 2015

"When I was the parent of a toddler, I learned that transitions are hard. Toddlers don't have a clear sense of time, so hearing "the playdate will be over at noon" doesn't necessarily help them prepare. They may not have much agency in their lives, so acceding to changes may feel like yet another place where they aren't in control. And they don't have the life experience to know that everything ends - so to them, every ending is a new heartbreak...."

The Wisdom Daily: Shelter Me -- Faith in an Imperfect World September 30, 2015

"At this time of year, what is the importance of the sukkah? The temporary shelter stands with a roof made of branches that do not provide a full cover. If it rains, the inside is made unusable and a very strong wind may knock it down. And yet we plan the weeklong autumnal holiday of Sukkot to be spent eating (and in some places, sleeping) under it.

Brad Hirschfield on Newsmax TV - Issues of the Day September 30, 2015

Hosted by Joe Concha along with panelists Rick Unger, Heather Hansen and Brad Hirschfield, issues of the day are explored.

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Small But Proud Jewish Communities September 28, 2015

"I grew up in a fairly small Jewish community. In the ’80s, Austin, Texas was not the cool mecca it is today. There was one small Reform synagogue and one small Conservative synagogue. There was only one other Jewish kid in my class in grade school. I remember each year having to explain to my teacher that I would be out for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and having her say, “Russia what?”..."

Irwin Kula on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts - Pre-empted September 24, 2015

Pre-empted: Today between 2:30 and 3 pm, Rabbi Irwin Kula will be on MSNBC Live talking with Thomas Roberts about the meaning of the Pope's visit to the United States. Watch for a clip, as it becomes available, on www.Clal.org watch here between 2:30 and 3 pm.

From MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts

Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah September 16, 2015

"I know the title, Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah, sounds a bit like the set up for an old Borscht Belt routine. It is anything but.

Unlock Rosh Hashana 2015 September 11, 2015

Unlock Rosh Hashanah.
Unleash your best self.
Create The Year You Yearn For.

It’s all there, in three little Hebrew words at the center of the High Holiday liturgy.

Malkhuyot, Zikhronot and Shofarot. Words of greatness and sovereignty, companionship and memory, and the joyful blasts of the shofar.

These three defining sections of the Rosh Hashanah service remind us of a deeper truth than some of the guilt and negative feeling that many of us often associate with the High Holidays. We are more powerful, less alone and have much more to celebrate than we often recognize. By celebrating those claims, we can get to where we want to be — or at least a whole lot closer, on Rosh Hashanah and throughout the rest of the year.

The real question is whether or not we believe in ourselves as much as Rosh Hashanah believes in us?

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Shabbat is Not Orthodox September 11, 2015

"...We all construct different Sabbath cathedrals. A pluralistic Jewish community coupled with theological humility teaches us that we cannot proclaim another person’s Shabbat any less meaningful, impactful or valid for her or him. The institutions of Jewish communal life that strive to be conveners of broad Jewish discourse must broaden their own definitions of what it means to be Sabbath Observant.

The Wisdom Daily: It's a Season of Renewal. So Why Do I Feel Anxious? September 11, 2015

"This season is supposed to be one of renewal. The transition from summer to fall brings a cooler breeze, a change of color and the promise of brand new page in the books of our lives. We buy new clothes for our kids, who walk into their classrooms with the excitement of being a grade older, with the opportunity to begin with a clean slate. It sounds prospectively exciting, but I wonder why so many seem to feel so darn anxious about it...including my wife, my kids and me...."

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