From the Rabbi:
Beginning on this past June 5th, if someone asked me my age, I could no longer honestly answer that I was still in my seventies because my eightieth birthday was on that date.
So how should I feel now that I’m 80 years old?
Well, some people say that if you want to find the answers to life’s most perplexing questions, you should look in the Bible. So that’s what I did.
The Bible tells us that Adam, the first man, lived for 930 years. Methuselah, Noah’s grandfather, and the longest-living person mentioned in the Bible, died at the age of 969, while Noah lived for 950 years.
So compared to these biblical figures, at age 80, I’m just a kid.
But after Noah in the Bible, life spans seemed to have become shorter. Abraham died at the age of 175, his son Isaac died when he was 180 years old and Isaac’s son, Jacob, was 147 when he died.
Moses, however, was 120 years old when he passed away, but the Bible tells us that “his eyes were undimmed and his vigor unabated” when he died. And remember that Moses was 80 years old when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. So, according to this standard, at the age of 80, I should feel like I’m in the prime of life.
But, unfortunately, the Bible sometimes gives conflicting answers to our questions. Thus, Psalm 90 states that “the span of our life is three score years and ten or, given strength, four score years.” Well, four score years are 80 years, so according to this verse in the Psalms, I should be getting ready to check out.
So how do I feel about being 80? Well, I had two sisters - both of whom passed away. My younger sister was 14 ½ years older than I and my older sister was 18 years older than I. I was the baby in my family. My mother was over 40 years old when I was born and my cousins were all a lot older than I. But they’re all gone and instead of being the youngest in my family, I’m now the oldest. I’m the family’s patriarch. I have nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews. And there’s nothing like a great grand niece or nephew to make you feel old.
But there are advantages to being 80. If you forget someone’s name or an appointment, just explain that you’re 80 and you’ll be forgiven. If you spill soup on your tie, or forget to shave half of your face, or take another man’s hat by mistake, or promise to mail a letter and carry it around in your pocket for two weeks, just say that you’re 80 and no one will say anything.
You have a perfect alibi for everything if you’re at least 80. If you act silly, people will just say that you’re in your second childhood.
Being 80 is much better than being 70. At 70, people are mad at you for everything, but if you make it to 80, you can talk back, argue, disagree and insist on having your own way because everybody thinks you’re getting a little soft in the head.
They say life begins at 40. Not true. Life begins at 80.
The following is a quote from Pirke Avot (Chapters of the Fathers): “Those who learn from the young are like what? Like those who eat unripe grapes and drink wine fresh from the winepress. But they who learn from elders, what are they like? Like those who eat ripe grapes and drink aged wine.”
I do have some additional comments, but it’s about 4:00 P.M. and I’m getting tired. It’s time for my afternoon nap.
Rabbi David Weissman
President Lily Ann Revitch
As we approach this new year for Temple Shalom, I want to thank those that have served on the Board for the past year. We had three people going off the board. Linda Post chose not to run again for the Vice President position, Steven Firestone's term was finished and under the circumstances with Harriette’ health issues, he did not want to serve another two years. Natalie Kramer's term was also finished; she was reelected for the next two years. We welcome Cookie Brenner to the board as Vice President and Maryann Lempert as new board member. Linda Post will serve as Past Vice President in place of a Past President. We had a very good working board for the last term; I am looking forward to working with our board again this year.
Now that we have our own building we are going to have to have a strong house committee to look after the Property, Gabe Brenner cannot do the job alone. We must have someone on call when needed. Please let Gabe know that you are available to help to maintain the building.
As we enter the summer season we start to plan for the High Holidays. Our treasurer will be sending out statements very soon for the 2015-2016 year, It has always been our custom to invite members to participate in the High Holiday services. This requires that each participant be in good standing which means that at least the first quarter of dues is paid by the 1st of August 2015. Rabbi Weissman will be sending out emails about the High Holidays as we get closer. Erev Rosh Hashanah starts Sunday September 13, 2015 Yom Kippur falls on the 22nd of September.
I know many of you will be traveling during the summer or having visitors. Please have a safe and happy summer and remember we hold Shabbat services all year round.
As always, see you around the Temple
Lily Ann Revitch