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|Human aging: The journal of soul return|
The Jewish mystical tradition sees old age in positive light. Aging is not seen as a defect to be eliminated by medical science. Old age presents the opportunity for the divine soul. A Torah-observant Jew who has consciously worked on his or her necessary tikkun (moral repair) through prayer and mitsvot (commandments) can reach the highest level of knowledge attainable only in old age. The highest level of an elderly in holiness is connected to the crown of the kabbalistic spheres and the patriarchs. It radiates an increasing exaltation, uplifting other people also. Rebbe Nahman's student Reb Nathan wrote extensively on how we are transformed as we age. Jungian psychology and the Ayurvedic medical tradition also accept and respect old age as a necessary passage in the journey of life. The Baal Shem Tov reached such a pure state at the end of his life that he was able to consciously guide his followers to the sublime moment of his soul's return to its source.