At the recent Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work conference on Spirituality at the End Life, we included the following blessing that was created by two students in a class on Longevity at HUC-JIR inn New York. Several people asked for us to post it on jewishsacredaging.com.
Many thanks to Rabbi Dan Fliegel and Tess Levine.
Blessed is the Eternal who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this moment in time.
God who has given me the power of choice and who has brought me the strength to make these decisions today, thank you for granting me the wisdom to think ahead and to understand the great range of possibilities that could come in the future.
While so much is out of our control, we are grateful that we can make choices in our life, make them known and have them acted out in the event we no longer have the ability to do so ourselves.
When the time comes that I am no longer able to make decisions on my own behalf, may my wishes be carried out by those who are close to me. I have been blessed with so much and may my family be at peace with my decisions. May we love one another and cherish our time together.
Baruch Atah Adonai-who has given us free will and agency in our lives.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.