Reflections on my Mother: Judaism and Radical Life Extension

by Rabbi Rochelle Robins

As a Chaplain, the topics of aging and death are something I deal with on a daily basis. This experience became even more personal for me, when my own mother recently passed away after struggling with cancer.

Our society has somewhat of a dualistic relationship with the elderly. We often see them as burdens, unable to contribute to our world and out of date with the times. Yet when someone we love reaches a certain age, we struggle to accept their fate. Society’s negative response toward the elderly doesn’t mirror our personal relationships with those whom we love, honor, and want to hold onto for as long as possible. There was little burden in being my Mother’s daughter. She was and remains a great source of love and inspiration.