by Marcia Cohn Spiegel and friends

Becoming A Crone: Ceremony At 60

Aging, our society tells us, is a nasty thing. And particularly nasty, of course, if you’re a woman. In Marcia Cohn Spiegel’s Croning Ceremony, however, the convention of denying the reality of death or of fearing growing old is stood on its head. Marty celebrated “becoming a crone” (that is, a wise old woman) at the age of 60, in the company of 120 others, in her Conservative synagogue. Congregation Ner Tamid, in Rolling Hills, California. As part of this Ma’ariv/Havdala (Saturday evening service), Marty donned her burial shroud (the one she will wear, eventually forever), and she commented about that experience: “It was so moving to recognize that we are going to die, that living is a part of dying, and dying is a part of living. It’s an exciting feeling of ‘Watch the time, lady it’s running out!’”

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