Shalom and a very special wish to all of you for a sweet, healthy and peaceful New Year. The Holiday liturgy contains so many themes that speak to where we are in life. One of my favorites is the theme in the Torah reading for Yom Kippur morning. It is from Deuteronomy and contains the famous phrase u’vcharta chaiim (choose life). There are so many interpretations for this phrase, many of which I am sure you have heard or studied.
I have been thinking a lot about what this means for us in our stage of life and can conclude that it is a call for us to continue to embrace life, in all of its mystery and with all of its challenges. Many of us are in the midst of great transitions in work, care-giving and parenting. It can seem overwhelming… Yet, the Torah reminds us to choose, take hold of and “live” life each day. Indeed, the beginning of the reading uses the work ha’yom (the day) several times. That is to remind us that we are to live each day to its fullest, to live “in” the day and not “for” the day. We are at a dramatic stage of life. God willing we will be granted years. Choosing to live our life as an ever expanding mystery is one of the wonderful positive messages of the High Holidays. A new is beginning and with it, we hope and pray, new opportunities for growth and love. No one knows what this New Year will bring. We cannot see what the future will be, we can only live our life to it fullest and choose life every day. From my house to yours, have a great new year and thank you for checking in to jewishsacredaging.com.
One of the new wrinkles for the site that we hope to expand is to give people the opportunity to tell their own story. It may be a story of transition, personal growth or care-giving.
We’ll begin this month with Helene Zukoff, an old friend, who tells her story of grief and growth amid the support of faith and friends and family. We welcome your contribution to a new section called MY STORY. Just forward it to me at email@example.com.
Rabbi Richard F. Address
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.