A Day in the Life of an Old Man

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And Abraham grew old and he came in days…

Genesis 24:1

The phrase ba bayamim, commonly translated “advanced in days,” literally means “he came in[to his] days.” Thus, it is not just another way of saying “old,” but a description of a certain type of agedness—a way of living in which one fully enters into one’s days, rather than merely “marking time” and allowing them to pass by without experiencing them and exploiting them to the utmost.

Human nature is such that our interest in life often wanes as our years accumulate. In our youth, life is exciting and replete with opportunity; we fully immerse ourselves in every moment, every encounter, every experience. But as we age, we become less involved in our days. We have experienced much disappointment; in any case, we’ve seen it all. Life’s joys become less exhilarating, its sorrows less acute.

It is Abraham’s greatness that as he grew old, he continued to enter into his days. A lifetime of seeking and achievement, of trials and triumphs, did not diminish his thirst for life. All his days were fully explored by him, fully possessed, fully utilized.

And that is the way to age. To live each day to its fullest. To live in the moment and to appreciate the moments.

 


Based on an address by the Rebbe, Shabbat Chayei Sarah, 5748 (1987)
Likkutei Sichot, vol. XXXV, p. 91.


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Jacinta Lashley
10 months ago

This topic is needed, especially now. Thanks so much. Becoming a senior citizen is another stage of our human development and similar to going through our adolescent stages. Still, with a twist 😀 We are now filled with experiences that should have made us wiser. Not even close; everything is in reverse mode as we discover the body’s declining stages
Be blessed beloved

Ari
10 months ago

Amen and excellent! Moshiach now! Very blessed to have you all and all you do. Thank you as always 🙂 love this! Excellent theme and topic this week as always!

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