As you read this, I hope you take note of the new format for jewishsacredaging.com.
The time has come for us to amp-up the vision of the site and what we can do, and so this month represents the first roll out of the revised web site. We hope to make it more inter-active and add additional guest contributors. This transition also reflects the growing interest in many of the issues we look at. This is especially true for the challenges associated with care-giving.
Our new site now includes a webinar I recently did for SilverPlanet.con on “The Spiritual Challenges of Caregiving”. Our new web master, Steve Lubetkin, has designed the new look so we will be able to post video and also, we hope, be able to be more responsive to and dialogue with you. In fact, if you find an interesting article or video and wish to share it, we will be making that possible as the site evolves.
I also wish to express deep appreciation and thanks to Steve Drake of Woodstown, NJ, who was so helpful in getting jewishsacredaging.com up and running. I also want to welcome a new contributor, Dr Ilena Blicker, who will be looking at some issues related to aging and medical ethics.
Transition and change are part of everything. Nothing remains the same. Judaism understands this. It knows that in order for anything to survive and grow, it must evolve and change be it a relationship or even a theology. That which remains static, eventually withers and dies. The Jewish calendar, which as you know is a sermon unto itself, is reflective of that idea of evolution and growth. This month, we enter the last month to the Jewish year, Elul. (it begins August 10) It is in this month that, according to tradition, that we begin the slow process of spiritual evaluation of what has taken place in the now receding year. All of this is in preparation for Rosh Hoshonnah and Yom Kippur. Change and evaluation of life takes time. That is why we begin the process a month before the actual New Year. We are called to prepare our souls and our spirits for the changes and transitions that lie before us. Some we will freely choose, while others, wilt be thrust upon us.
The randomness of our existence tests us, each year. For many of us, this month is a month of vacation and some quiet. I hope we all can use some of that time to begin that process of “taking stock” of where we have come from in this past year, where we are now and where we wish to be.
Enjoy the month.
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.