Rabbi Richard Address has devoted his career to helping transform synagogues into caring communities. Now, in Seekers of Meaning, his newest and most personal work to date, he explores how the notion of a caring community can be transformative for individuals, particularly baby boomers struggling with issues of aging and mortality.
“Who am I? Why am I here?” These are questions that guide us–or haunt us–our entire lives. As we age, these questions take on new relevance, all the more so as we face the daunting challenges of our aging society. We are seeing the health of our parents decline. We are deferring retirement in a difficult economy. We are becoming caregivers for loved ones. We are struggling with our own issues of health and wellness. Where do we turn for guidance in navigating these uncharted waters? Where do we now seek meaning in our lives?
The answer, argues Rabbi Address, is to be found in our relationships. Using key texts from the Torah, he shows that the foundation of a happy and healthy life is the meaning we seek in it in the community of others–our family, our friends, our congregations–and in our most fundamental relationship, with the very Mystery behind our own existence. This “theology of relationships” can bring much needed change to the Jewish communities that have nurtured us for so much of our lives, and help us make for ourselves an older adulthood that is healthy and sacred.