With the onset of the Spring season each year the Jewish community celebrates the holiday of Passover. Actually, one of the Hebrew names given by the rabbis for Passover is Chag Ha’Aviv, literally the holiday of the Spring. The themes of rebirth and renewal that are associated with Spring are also main themes of Passover where we celebrate the rebirth and redemption of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom. In reading the story of this redemption during Passover we recount how God, in partnership with Moses and his brother Aaron saves the Israelites from bondage.
If we examine the Torah text carefully, at the beginning of this story is a seemingly superfluous statement, recording the ages of Moses and Aaron. The Torah reads, “Moses was eighty years old and Aaron was eighty-three, when they made their demand to Pharoah.” According Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra, this mention of advanced age is not common. He writes, “We don’t find prophets anywhere else in Scripture for who the text points out that they prophesied while elderly, except here…” The point here is that our age should not determine who we are and how we live our lives. We can do great things, take on leadership positions, learn, and be active as long as we are young at heart. Moses and Aaron serve as role models for us in what they accomplished and did at such an advanced age.
One way to maintain our energy and keep us young is to keep learning and staying active exercising our mind, body, and soul. Here at the JCC, there is ample opportunity for all ages to do just that by participate in programs and take on leadership roles in our community. Now that the Arts and Education building is open, you will find that there are even more things planned then ever before in the realm of Jewish cultural and community programming. Please check out our website to see a sampling of some of those exciting new opportunities for all ages, newborns to active adults and beyond. This is the season of renewal. Renew and enrich yourselves at the J!
Rabbi Brad Horwitz