MembersAm I Getting Better, or Just Older? A Jewish View on Aging

As in most matters, Judaism contains a wealth of wisdom, instruction and debate on the topic of getting old

By David Lazarus | | Topics: Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man
What does Judaism have to teach us about getting older?
Photo: Flash90

Getting old is not easy. I know, I’m there. There are the aches and pains, tiredness, and… wait… sorry… I’ve forgotten what else! Maybe that’s why the Preacher tells us to Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of adversity come …” (Eccl. 12:1)

I must say, though, I actually enjoy getting old. I get to say what I really think because I don’t care so much anymore about what others think. I’ve aged.

The Bible too tells us that old age is something to look forward to. It is supposed to be the time in life when we are honored and respected.

So which is it? Am I just getting older, or better?

I suppose it depends on how each of us handles getting old. “Old-age” in Judaism can be understood as a state of mind, and not just the number of years we have lived. There’s a midrash, or interpretation of scripture, that says that some people have years while others have old age. This comes...

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