Clal nurtures new skills in leaders, helping them to prepare for the civic, spiritual, intellectual and ethical challenges in American life.

The Wisdom Daily: Praying In Your Own Language September 22, 2016

"Last night, I watched as a close friend of mine, a dynamite warrior woman of Korean descent, sang and prayed in her ancestral tongue for close to twenty minutes in front of an altar bearing fruit and burning incense.

The Wisdom Daily: My Daughter And The Chelsea Bomb September 21, 2016

"...My point to my daughter, and to anyone else who has been asking me my thoughts today, is that there are real dangers in this world, in our nation, and on the streets of my own city. They are real, they draw inspiration from particular places and systems of belief, and we cannot afford to shy away from any of that if we hope to successfully address those dangers. But that is only part of the story, and certainly not more than half of it.

The Wisdom Daily: You'll Never Be Ready To Grow September 21, 2016

"...On Rosh Hashanah, tradition says, we stand before the Creator of All Who regards us in judgment. The liturgy for that day teaches that the book of our lives reads from itself: the book of our choices and our actions over the last year, signed by our own hand. No matter how much inner work I do over the coming weeks, there's no way I can really be ready to stand before God and face full awareness of everywhere I've fallen short...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The National Anthem Is Not A Loyalty Pledge. It's Liturgy. September 21, 2016

"...But, the National Anthem is not a loyalty pledge, it is liturgy. It is a national, civic ‘prayer.’ Liturgy expresses values and ideals and provides a common language of connection. Liturgy can be at once descriptive and aspirational. And liturgy carries with it multiple meanings and can mean different things to different people. Our engagement with it must be dynamic and nuanced...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: To Repair The World – And Not Just The Jewish People! September 20, 2016

"One of the things I most love about the High Holidays is their focus on universality. During the rest of the year, Jewish consciousness and Jewish prayer concentrate primarily on the concerns of the Jewish People, while the season of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur turns our attention to the entirety of the human race and to the world as a whole. Although it is certainly understandable that throughout most of the calendar our emphasis is on our Jewish family and our Jewish needs, for me it is a bit myopic and constricting.

The Wisdom Daily: When Shoe Shopping Is A Spiritual Investigation September 20, 2016

"...As a petite teenager with size 10 feet, my mother drove me dozens of miles to Tall Gals, a specialty shop whose name acted like salt in the wound as I was nowhere near statuesque. Their mostly staid selections did not excite me and often we returned empty handed. That I couldn't wear the latest styles like everyone else or easily find bargains on sale amplified feelings of envy and of being on the footwear fringe.

The Wisdom Daily: Pascal's Premise: You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right September 19, 2016

"...someone does not have to wrong for you to be right. Of course they may be, but there is often no good reason to start with that presumption, and very often, many good reasons not to. From a purely strategic standpoint, as Pascal points out, we are more likely to successfully persuade someone of our own view, if we start by seeing at least the partial truth in theirs...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Just Saying No To The Container Store September 19, 2016

"...Looking around at the pretty color-coded hangers on sale, I am reminded of what I am not. I am not as able to find things in my closet as other are. I see not only the potential for improvement but a reminder of my own shortcomings. These products fit into my aspirational self. But the ultimate failure of these products to be the cure-all only serves to make me feel that my shortcomings are deep failures of which I ought to be ashamed...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: Who Is This Shmelf The Hanukkah Elf? September 16, 2016

"...Wherever one lands in deciding whether this is the right book for their family, what I find most interesting is that this book highlights the balance of universalism and particularism in the Jewish community. It ultimately concludes that there is something particular about Judaism (Hanukkah) that should be celebrated, and yet that kids should share a connection to something a bit more universal, at least in America (Christmas). Some will agree, others will disagree. And that's okay...."

Rabbis Without Borders in the Field: The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing September 15, 2016

"...We can always explain, rationalize or justify our behavior – both to others, and to ourselves – but ultimately, what we do proclaims itself. We begin to realize that the choices we make today will become our legacy tomorrow...."

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