Serving God from Dawn to Dusk

Yael Eckstein  |  August 21, 2019

Rabbi Eckstein with Yael and his grandchildren
group hug, group photo. RYE with his grandchildren - five children of Yael Eckstein's.

When we’re young, we’re full of energy. When we grow older, we’re blessed with wisdom and experience. But either way, as Yael shares with Lifezette, worshiping the Lord during any season of life is key:

“This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight” (Exodus 29:38–39).

In Judaism, one of the 613 mitzvot — or commands — given to the children of Israel is to show respect for the elderly because of their wisdom, and to uphold their dignity.

Paul echoed this command in his letter to his younger protégé, Timothy (1 Timothy 5:1).

Jewish tradition says that Abraham’s coins contained an image of a young man and woman on one side and an image of an elderly man and woman on the other. Of course, these images weren’t simply there to beautify Abraham’s currency. They had a message and meaning that both Abraham and Sarah carried with them throughout their lives.

It’s a reminder of the lessons we can learn from the seasons of our lives — our youth and our senior years.

The young have an advantage over the elderly. They are full of passion and strength. They are more physically able, and very often, they’re more ideologically driven.

This is why so many reform movements have started on college campuses. The young are energized and ready to do what it takes to achieve their goals.

However, youth has its drawbacks. Young people lack the experience and maturity of the older generation. For all they do know, there is so much more that they don’t know. They may have inspired ideas, but they don’t have the experience that might teach them how to achieve their ideals in the best possible way.

In addition, the young are easily distracted by their passions and desires for all things physical. These things can also hold them back from achieving their goals.

The elderly have an advantage over the young in this arena. Physicality eventually loses its shine and shimmer. We grow wiser as we get older. We realize the emptiness of material possessions. We have learned from our experiences and have refined our characters.

However, we also face challenges. Unlike the young, our bodies have gone through much more living. We might feel more tired and less agile than we did in our youth. It’s also common to have lost some of our passion for life as we age. When we were once energized and inspired by taking on a new challenge, it’s hard to get excited about things one might have been doing for the past 40 years…

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