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Glen Campbell: Forgetful But Not Forgotten

Feb 13, 2012 at 01:27:12 PM

Speaking of popular singers, this item caught my attention:

Glen Campbell, the five-time Grammy winner of "Wichita Lineman" fame, picked up a Lifetime Achievement award this week at the Grammy Awards.

And he has Alzheimer's disease.

Yet Glen is continuing to perform live in concert. When he has a spell of forgetfulness onstage ― losing his place in a song he's played thousands and thousands of times before ― the audience is totally supportive. They simply sing along in his place.

Glenn, at age 75, doesn't seem to mind.

"I just take it as it comes," he tells CNN. "I know that I have a problem with [forgetfulness], but it doesn't bother me. If you're going to have it handed to you, you have got to take it, anyway."

This got me thinking about how we treat people who have aged and are waning in their abilities. Judaism maintains a strong value in giving honor to those who no longer possess full mental faculties. As a recent article pointed out, the tablets of the Ten Commandments ― which Moses shattered ― were kept alongside the new tablets in the Ark of the Covenant. This teaches that we must always respect the elderly, even when they may be intellectually "broken."

As technology keeps us constantly focused on what's ahead, this news about the "Rhinestone Cowboy" is a gentle reminder on the importance of looking back, too.

on the yahrtzeit of my beloved Grandmother, Rose Gess

February 13, 2012

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 2

(2) David Korman, February 14, 2012 3:21 PM

Thank you

Thank you for this commentary. As I deal with answering the same question for my father for the tenth time in an hour, may this column, and HaShem help me remain patient, understanding and appreciative.

(1) Michal, February 13, 2012 10:09 PM

just for you:

I really enjoy your blog!!! Your book I have ordered. Will come soon. How Judaism thinks about elderly, gives me a happy feeling.I once and again look into the mirror and get really frightened. Soo many wrincles.- But then I am happy that I can walk. And my voice comes back. I take my guitar and sing more often. D"sh cham to Keren.

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