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A Heart of Wisdom

Making the Jewish Journey from Midlife through the Elder Years

Edited by Susan Berrin
Foreword by Harold Kushner

only available as an eBook


We all are growing older. A Heart of Wisdom shows us how to understand and meet the challenges of our own process of aging—and the aging of those we care about—from a Jewish perspective, from midlife through the elder years.
How does Jewish tradition influence our own aging? What are the tasks and the meaning of aging? How does being Jewish inform our relationships with the elderly? How does living, thinking and worshipping as a Jew affect us as we age? How can Jewish tradition help us retain our dignity as we age?
Over 40 contributors—people who themselves are dealing with the unique life passages that aging brings; their loved ones; and the rabbis, social workers, and other professionals who assist them—offer their insights about the changes and new perspectives that come with aging, retiring, growing, learning, caring for elderly parents, living, and dying. By sharing experiences in direct and personal narratives, poems, ceremonies, and stories, they help us explore:
• What traditional religious texts have to teach us about aging.
• Ways to cherish the integrity of the aging process.
• Women's unique roles as they age in our changing society.
• Advice for all generations on how to meet the opportunities and difficulties of aging.
• Creative ceremonies to mark milestones in our lives and in the lives of senior citizens.
Offering enlightenment from Jewish tradition, A Heart of Wisdom is not just for the middle-aged, the old or the soon-to-be old. It is for all of us.
"A unique guide to living and aging Jewishly...a must for all ages at all stages."
Ruth Perelson, Chair Emerita, Jewish Association for Services for the
Aged of Greater New York, a Member Agency of UJA/Federation
"Reminds us of Judaism's power to sanctify time and dignify life....A powerful and personal message of holiness."
Rabbi Richard F. Address, Director, Department of Family
Concerns, Union of American Hebrew Congregations
"Remarkable....The book is a quilt of the human condition; it is as universal as it is Jewish."
Theodore Bikel, actor, concert performer, author, lecturer
"The message of this wonderful book transcends the Jewish journey into old age....As awesomely powerful a way of knowing about aging as science is in gerontology."
Richard C. Adelman, PhD, Director, Institute of Gerontology,
University of Michigan
Susan Berrin teaches and lectures on Jewish issues, particularly in the areas of aging, Jewish women and spirituality, and interfaith dialogue. She was guest editor for Sh'ma magazine's special issue on Judaism and aging, and is the editor of Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.


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