D’var Torah: Summer’s in full swing

Dear Friends:

The summer is in full swing and for some of us that means one thing: soon the Holidays will be here.Rabbi Richard Address

We’ll deal with some of that next month, as we turn from the month of Ellul to the new year. For now, however, let me focus on a few things that are new this month on the site.

We welcome back Rabbi Anne Brenner and her powerful Thought Pieces post on the calendar cycle.

Rabbi Grumbacher’s introduction to Elder Mediation will be found this month in the Health and Wellness category.

The Alzheimer’s/Dementia study guide remains available to download from Resources and Programs.

We are adding a special ritual program to compliment the study guide.

Last semester, as part of the cycle of classes I teach at the New York campus of Hebrew Union College, the students in my Sacred Aging class were asked to create programs or classes on an aspect of the aging issue that they would be able to use once they left the school. As usual, I was impressed by the seriousness and dedication of the students. Many of them created very useful modules for congregations that examined aspects of the aging issue. One student, Rachel, created a modified havdalah ritual for rabbis for dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia concerns.

I wanted to include it this month as a compliment to the study guide and an example of how we can adapt traditional ritual to contemporary needs, Rachel’s program is to be found on the Rituals section. Feel free to adapt it for your use.

Our site has been up for a little over a year now and it is time to ask you to give us some feedback. We welcome suggestions on what is working, what is not, what would be needed or what you would want to see included or dropped. The form on the Contact page is a good way to get it back to us, or you can e-mail directly at rfaddress@aol.com.

Finally, a small movie suggestion. (and I would love someone who wishes, to contribute reviews of movies or books that speak to the issue of baby boomers and our own aging and family issues) UP is a Pixar film that looks, in many ways, a the issue of aging, loss, dealing with dreams unfulfilled and the realization that in living life, answers to questions of meaning come to us. There is also a wonderful “teachable” segment of film in the beginning that traces the life of two of the films characters. It is a lovely and heartwarming few moments of visuals (no dialogue) that sets up the film. That segment alone is worth the admission. It is a Pixar film, but not for little kids.

I hope the summer is treating you all well and we’ll see you next month.


Rabbi Richard F. Address, D. Min


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