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Jewish Spirituality and Ageing


The following description of Jewish spirituality and ageing comes from an article by Jacquelyn Dwoskin called "Ageing Like Abraham and Moses: A Jewish Perspective on Spirituality and the Elderly"


"If spirituality claims a universal aspect of being human, an intuitive sense that we are not alone in the universe, then Jewish spirituality takes that sense and particularizes it. We are not alone because we are choosing to be in relationship to the God of Abraham. We are choosing to accept the commanding voice. But we first must be willing to hear the call, to hear the challenge. There are few older adults who do not recognize the challenges that come as we age." >>More




Forgiveness: 10 Steps To Giving It and Getting It

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield | 09/24/08 |


Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins on Monday night. Like all New Year's celebrations, it's a chance to start over. And starting over often involves forgiveness -- both giving it and getting it. Neither of those is easy, but both are within our grasp.


Forgiving someone means that we find the strength to go beyond ourselves to a place that helps us see those who have hurt us in a new way. That's never easy. Seeking forgiveness requires us to confront the past, see what we have done wrong, and commit to changing our behavior. That's huge. But like the ability to forgive others, it is within our grasp. So with Rosh Hashanah approaching fast, here are some tips that will help you to forgive those who have hurt you and seek forgiveness from those you have hurt. >>More

Judaism and Spirituality


To understand Jewish Spirituality, we must first ask what Jewish people believe. From the website Judaism 101 comes the following answer:


"This is a far more difficult question than you might expect. Judaism has no dogma, no formal set of beliefs that one must hold to be a Jew. In Judaism, actions are far more important than beliefs, although there is certainly a place for belief within Judaism


"The closest that anyone has ever come to creating a widely-accepted list of Jewish beliefs is Rambam's thirteen principles of faith. Rambam's thirteen principles of faith, which he thought were the minimum requirements of Jewish belief, are:


G-d exists


G-d is one and unique


G-d is incorporeal


G-d is eternal


Prayer is to be directed to G-d alone and to no other


The words of the prophets are true


Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the prophets


The Written Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) and Oral Torah (teachings now contained in the Talmud and other writings) were given to Moses


There will be no other Torah


G-d knows the thoughts and deeds of men


G-d will reward the good and punish the wicked


The Messiah will come


The dead will be resurrected


"As you can see, these are very basic and general principles. Yet as basic as these principles are, the necessity of believing each one of these has been disputed at one time or another, and the liberal movements of Judaism dispute many of these principles.


"Unlike many other religions, Judaism does not focus much on abstract cosmological concepts. Although Jews have certainly considered the nature of G-d, man, the universe, life and the afterlife at great length (see Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism), there is no mandated, official, definitive belief on these subjects, outside of the very general concepts discussed above. There is substantial room for personal opinion on all of these matters, because as I said before, Judaism is more concerned about actions than beliefs.


"Judaism focuses on relationships: the relationship between G-d and mankind, between G-d and the Jewish people, between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and between human beings. " >>More