10 Commandments for Constructing a Rite of Passage for Elders

Found In: Growing Older

By Rabbi Dayle A. Friedman | Article
  1. DO understand the meaning of the passage being marked (for subject, family/friends/community).
  2. DO use Jewish symbols, songs, prayers, texts, heroes, images.
  3. DO create drama by including ritual actions, aesthetics, senses, viscerality.
  4. DO attend to rhythm, transitions.
  5. DO consider leadership/facilitation and participation beyond the subject (prisoner can’t free herself from jail).
  6. DO remember: brevity is next to godliness.
  7. Don’t surprise the subject.
  8. Don’t pile images/rituals/symbols up—simplicity is best!
  9. Don’t be excessively didactic in explaining or offering kavvanot.
  10. Don’t require people to do anything that might be uncomfortable.