Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in the Nursing Home: Torah for Confronting Fragility and Mortality

By Dayle A. Friedman

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA), Spring 2004

The author describes his social work training in senior centers and career as a Rabbi working with senior citizens. He compares the repository of knowledge found in senior citizens to that of the Torah, rich with possibilities for interpretation, explication and practical application. The author shares a variety of inspirational anecdotes involving seniors with whom he worked. He explains that his work environment can be terrifying, sad and depressing. However, the elders have radiant souls, continue to learn each day and are eager to share their knowledge with those who will listen. The author concludes that the "Torah of elders' blessings" sharpens one's capacity for gratitude, wonder and holy connection.

Topic: Morality, Institutional Care, Empowerment, Ethics, Aging, Elderly

Name of Publication: The Reconstructionist

Editor: Hirsh, Richard

Volume/Issue: Vol.68/no.2

Page Number(s): 70-81

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Friedman, Dayle A. Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in the Nursing Home: Torah for Confronting Fragility and Mortality. The Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). Spring 2004: 70-81. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4350


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