Simchat Chochmah, Jewish Federation

Women as Wisdom Keepers & Mentors
Journeying from Mid-life to Elder & Sage
Celebrate the Journey with New Jewish Rituals ~ A Simchat Chochmah
Jewish Federation serving the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys , CA
2009 Annual Women’s Forum ~ Celebrating Women Who Make a Difference
Sunday, April 26, 2009 2 Iyar 5769
Joy Krauthammer, MBA and AriellaShira Lewis, MA, SLP

Dear Joy of Wisdom Women,

I am grateful for your presence at the SIMCHAT CHOCHMAH workshop and for the blesSing of sharing Savina's, z'l legacy and our workshop with you. Thank you for your support in my honoring the legacy of my mentors. Isn't it amazing that the songs we all know so well came from Simchat Chochmah!

At workshop, I enjoyed your questions and comments and the artistic Judaica you offered for display. The display of talleism, silk painting, etc. was to encourage you to create your own Hiddur Mitzvot / Judaica beautification.

I would truly appreciate it if you share with me what you enjoyed in Simchat Chochmah and what you think I can change so that for next time, B'ezrat Hashem, I can make it better.
Time is limited to 45 minutes at Jewish Federation's Women's event. AriellaShira and I offer Simchat Chochmah workshops that also last for three hours and those women are anticipating Part 2.

If you think that any of your Sisterhoods or havurot would be interested in my workshop, please let them know about the workshops I offer.

I bless you with the experience of a holy journey leading up to your Simchat Chochmah, Joy of Wisdom spiritual ritual, and beyond. Ritual is a compelling and challenging opportunity to acknowledge and embrace the sacred in our lives, to connect our roots to our Source.

Simchat Chochmah is to invite joy into your life by stage-ing a celebration by marking transition, transcendence and transformative changes in your life. Simchat Chochmah, I believe from my own experience, is a ritual grown from preparation and conscious process of recognizing who we are, our midot / character traits and how we will use them as wise elders and mentors.

Even if you are not having a ceremony, I hope that you are inspired even more to continue your holy work of being the best that you can be as an Elder for yourself, your community and our world. Please remember to ask the Source of All BlesSings and your friends, for what you want, for blesSings, and to have gratitude. Paint your request with colorful crayons, sticky "angel card" words, sing it, dance it. and drum it with kavvanah / intention.

I encourage you to make time for your SIMCHAT CHOCHMAH JOURNAL. I hope you review the many questions I posed:  Where have you been, where are you now, what is inspiring you, and what are your dreams as you awaken to your wise Elder? Tell YOUR story. With what Voice do you desire to journey during your Simchat Chochmah?
I look forward to hearing about your journey & plans.

Here below are two more songs for your journey.
To assist your understanding of eldering, and communicating values, I also include three quotes for you from my Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, and from my blesSing mentor Barry Barkan who you saw in the Timbrels and Torahs DVD.

I bless you, as I bless myself, to pull off any boulder from your well-spring of joy, dream dreams, and go to your Joy of Wisdom.

One love, shalom and abundant blesSings of harmony, wholeness, health and joy to you,
"Serve G*d With Joy"

Psalm 90:12 music by Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin
Teach us to treasure each day (2X) That we may open our hearts to your wisdom, Teach us to treasure each day.
Treasure each day, Teach us to treasure each day.
Lim-not yamei-nu (2x) keyn ho-da v'na-vi l'vav choch-ma Lim-not yamei-nu

Lyrics by D. Pomeranz (sung by John Denver)
It's in every one of us, to be wise, Find your heart, open up both your eyes.
We can all know everything, without ever knowing why. It's in every one of us, by and by.

"SAGE-ING is a process that enables older people to become spiritually radiant, physically vital, and socially responsible ‘elders of the tribe' who can share much needed wisdom with our families, our friends, our communities and our world."
- Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Aleph Sage-ing Project

"An elder is a person who is still growing, still a learner, still with potential and whose life continues to have within it promise for, and connection to the future. An elder is still in pursuit of happiness, joy, and pleasure, and her or his birthright to these remains intact. An elder is a person who deserves respect and honor and whose work it is to synthesize wisdom from long life experience and to formulate this into a legacy for future generations." - Barry (BlesSing Master) & Debby Barkan, The Live Oak Project

ETHICAL WILL from Chevra Kadisha, Columbus Jewish Congregation, Maryland
An ethical will is an opportunity for direct personal communication of your values to loved ones. It may be written to children, spouse, family members, and/or friends. You can reflect on what you have achieved and learned in your life, and the values you cherish and live by which you wish to transmit to your survivors. Essentially, it is a commentary on your ethics and a message of your hopes and dreams for your family and friends in the future. You can address specific individuals, encouraging them to develop in ways you think important. You can encourage your survivors in their paths, vocations, goals, social endeavors, etc.

The intention of an ethical will is to be loving rather than critical or controlling. It may contain instructions on how you would like to be remembered, including specific instructions for your funeral, burial, eulogy, shiva, tzedaka, etc. As with a legal will, the ethical will needs to be revised from time to time. It encapsulates what you believe now, and what you want survivors to remember, cherish, and embrace. As your values change over time and as you come to see people differently, the ethical will can be rewritten. It can either be filed with other important papers until after your death, or shared with loved ones at any time you choose.
~ ~ ~

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