“May God bless and Keep you always, may your wishes all come true; May you always do for others and let others do for you; May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on ev’ry rung; and may you stay forever young”
Youth – grace of body, openness of mind and heart, perhaps. We were of a generation coming of age in the 1960s and 70s that mistrusted the older generations, and hoped not to become them, like Peter Pan. In truth there is something precious in remembering the child within us. One illusion of youth, though, is invincibility and immortality. Perhaps it’s what Adam and Eve lost in the garden, this illusion. But there is a grace and beauty in aging and perhaps even in facing our mortality. In the move Troy, Achilles says the gods envy this about us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dulxL0t5l7U
All I know is that when threatened by age’s infirmities, and loss of time, a sense of urgency can prod us to make it count, to find meaning in small and large gifts and acts. So maybe grownups need that blessing as much as kids.
Debbie Friedman in “Youth Shall See Visions” (1981, quoting from the prophet Joel) Sings “childhood was for fantasies, for nursery rhymes and toys… when I grew up I came to know that life was not a game; that heroes are just people that we call another name;…I cannot have a future ’till I embrace my past; I promise to pursue the challenge, time is going fast; And the old shall dream dreams, and the youth shall see visions; and our hopes will rise up to the skies; We must live for today, we must build for tomorrow, give us time, give us strength, give us life.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wt_uaTrDtc
So the blessings of the Torah are for all of us, young and old, and I’m not sure if I agree with Bob Dylan, that we should add “forever young” to those blessings. What do you think?
Final link is Peri Smilow’s beautiful melodic version of the blessings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93O5JAYGH4s