In a classical Jewish text from the second century, Pirke Avot, we read about the stages of a life.
“At five years old, you begin Torah. At ten, Mishnah. At thirteen, you are responsible for mitzvot. At fifteen, for Talmud. At eighteen, you get married. At twenty, you are ready to pursue a career. At thirty, for strength. At forty, for understanding. At fifty, for advice. At sixty, for זקנה”
“ זקנה zikna” is hard to translate. Old age? Maturity? Some commentaries read the word as an acronym for ze sh’kana chochma: “one who has acquired wisdom.”
The stages of a life are measured differently now from how they were measured in the days of Pirke Avot. But in some sense the work of this stage remains the same: how can we apply the wisdom we have acquired to the rest of your life. And how can Jewish tradition help you in the process? How can spiritual tools of Judaism–ritual, mussar (character refinement), prayer, composing an ethical will, and lifelong learning help enable us to age with grace?
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Save the Dates for Our 2017 Wisdom Circles:
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Wednesday, June 8, 2017
*RSVP to Lynn@tebh.org prior to each event, so we know how much food to order and to confirm dates, times, and locations, which are subject to change.
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