Aging and the Kaballah: Rabbi Gershon Winkler
Aging Gratefully
Dr. Peter Brill

Episode 20 - Aging and the Kaballah: Rabbi Gershon Winkler

The Third Age is a spiritual age. The search for passion, purpose and joy ride along with the fear and fact of illness and death. Perhaps this calls for a hardy wisdom. To quote today’s guest,  Rabbi Gershon Winkler, ancient life was lived with “dark times and situations that would make our paradigm seem like Disneyland.”  What can we learn from this mystical religion and time? Find out what the ancient Kabala has to say about preparing yourself for the modernThird Age.



Woman: This program is brought to you by

[musical interlude]

David Debin: Welcome to the “Third Age.” Here we are, I'm the Man from Hollywood and I'm here with the doctor, Peter Brill, who is also known as “The Great Brill.” We just found via from our guest who's going to be on a little later on that Peter is known as “The Great Brill” and that might stick with them.

The show that we're about to tell you about and do for you is the one called the “Third Age” where we turn the myths of aging upside down. Where we sort up the scientific and trendy, the medical and the cultural, and tell you everything you need to know about living in the “Third Age.” Remember, we guarantee, if you listen to us, you'll never grow old.

Peter Brill: David, you did beautifully, you get through that. First of all, I want to wish everybody in the studio and outside happy, happy New Year.

David Debin: Thank you, thank you.

Peter Brill: May 2008 bring us all together in the world and may we find the dreams that we're looking for this year.

David Debin: All right.

Peter Brill: I'm the doctor, Dr. Peter Brill. The Third Age starts somewhere 45 or 50. It's the time when you start to feel stronger desire for deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life--boy, it's hard on New Year’s Day. The first age is childhood, the second age is building career and family, the third age is a major change or transition to a whole new set up of problems, values, opportunities, and gratifications.

So join us as fellow explorers in this journey to discover what brings passion, purpose, and joy into this unchartered time of life. We have people out there who need us on New Year’s Day.

David Debin: That party is still going on, we could go back to it after the show. [laughs]

Peter Brill: I bet it was. [laughs] We were at the party late last night. What a party!

David Debin: Yes, with old people acting silly, which is my favorite kind of thing.

Peter Brill: Me, too, absolutely.

David Debin: Is anybody up?

Peter Brill: Probably none.

David Debin: They were up, they were.

Peter Brill: Yes, my wife was up this morning.

David Debin: Today’s show, let's talk about that. You know, the Third Age is a spiritual age. You'll find that one the older you get, the more spiritual you probably get. The search for passion, purpose, and joy right along with the fear and fact of illness and death. [laughs] I just can't help [xx] whenever I hear that, about this New Yorker cartoon I saw where there is a middle-aged guy sitting gloomily in his living room all by himself. His wife is standing at the door with a friend and she's saying, “He's such a pessimist. Do you think he's going to grow old and die?”

Peter Brill: [laughs]

David Debin: So those are the facts of life, folks. But this kind of thing calls for a hardy wisdom and to quote today’s guest, Rabbi Gershon Winkler, “Ancient life lived with dark times and situations that would make our paradigm seem like Disneyland.” OK, I really want to be convinced of that because I think I got bigger troubles than they had then. After all…

Peter Brill: [laughs] After all, some times, some mornings, the car doesn’t start the first time you do it.

David Debin: No, no, I mean…

Peter Brill: Or, does it start the first time?

David Debin: What's worse, having credit card people chasing you or having a lion chasing you? You tell me.

Peter Brill: Let me think about that.

David Debin: You can climb up a tree with the lion, credit card guys will get you in the middle of it.

Peter Brill: What happen to that tiger that got loose? Do you want that tiger chasing you?

David Debin: No, no. No, I don’t want that. OK. You convince me.

Peter Brill: Go ahead and finish your introduction thing.

David Debin: What can we learn from this mystical religion and time? Stay tuned and find out what the ancient kabbalah has to say about preparing yourself for the modern Third Age and we're going to talk with Rabbi Gershon Winkler in just a moment. But before that, let's talk about other stuff.

Peter Brill: I have something I want to talk about.

David Debin: Yes? Good.

Peter Brill: This is unusual.

David Debin: Yes, it is.

Peter Brill: First time.

David Debin: No, you’ve never had anything to talk about.

Peter Brill: [laughs] I just want to talk about where we're coming from and what the new year is bringing. This is the time where people are making new year’s resolutions, there's a hunger in each of us to change part of our lives, to make it richer and more meaningful and to find things that are deep in our hearts and make our lives more interesting, more fulfilling.

We've both been very successful in our careers such we brought that energy to this and I just would like to pass along a couple of thoughts to people as they're making their new year’s resolutions and as they're going forward trying to decide what is important.

You know, all organisms, all living things require sustenance. What gives you sustenance? As you think about your year and what you want to do with this year, what gives you sustenance? What energy do you have to improve yourself? Do you have an ultimate experience? When do you have and where do you have an intimate experience with another human being? When do you actually interact with somebody else, which causes you to feel something and allows you into a space where you feel open, energized, and alive?

How often does that happen for you? Are you satisfied with that? If you're not satisfied, what are you going to do about it? All of us have these relationships in the Third Age with our children, our parents, with our friends, with our colleagues. Many people are trying to change careers during this time, change their whole vocation, their whole way of looking at life. Anyway, just some thoughts as you do your planning for the year. I think these are kinds of questions that really matter to you. Anyway, those are my thoughts for the year.

David Debin: Great.

Peter Brill: You know, once a year.

David Debin: No, I thought that’s good. I think, at the party last night, there was a psychic and she did tarot card readings.

Peter Brill: And she said I was going to do this today? [laughs]

David Debin: She told me you would do this today, and then she told me you would fall off the curb when [xx]. [both laughs] No, but Bern and I, my wife and I went in there and we picked out of the deck two cards, each picked a card and it was perfect. Her card was this “go with the flow”, basically, and my card was “the card of change.” I know that there's big changes coming up and I think that the addendum to your wonderful list of things and questions there is be open to change. Let yourself change, don’t put yourself down because you're afraid to change.

We have a very interesting guest with us today. His name is Gershon Winkler, he's a rabbi. He's the author of “Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism.” Don’t be frightened by that title, whether you're Jewish or not, you will find this a very interesting discussion.

He's the founder and Executive Director of the Walking Stick Foundation dedicated to the research and recovery of aboriginal Jewish mystery wisdom. He was initiated in Jerusalem back in 1978 and has since been teaching workshops and seminars on the kabbalah across North America, Europe, Israel, and Latin America. He's the author of 14 books and in his spare time, he designs public buildings--no, I just made that up.

Peter Brill: [laughs]

Rabbi Winkler: The energy efficient, not a bad idea, though.

David Debin: Mostly on Jewish theology, mysticism, and philosophy. Rabbi Winkler spent the past 26 years living in the wilderness across rural West Virginia into Mexico and now resides in…

Peter Brill: The wilderness of Thousand Oaks.

David Debin: …Thousand Oaks. Welcome to the show.

Rabbi Winkler: Thank you very much, nice to be here. Yes, man from Hollywood.

Peter Brill: Little drum roller [xx].

David Debin: No, don’t take us seriously.

Peter Brill: [laughs]

David Debin: He knows we're not serious. OK. What can we say? Everybody is talking about the kabbalah lately. I'd like to know, and there are people in town here that I know that go to meetings and learn teachings and there have been a lot of celebrities recently who have been in the news talking about the kabbalah. What is the kabbalah?

Rabbi Winkler: First of all, I'd like those celebrities to please call me [laughter] to make a donation.

David Debin: Yes. Call Gershon Winkler at 683-4561.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaeffer’s number.

David Debin: Call Arthur Gross-Schaeffer at 683-4561 and ask them for Rabbi Gershon Winkler’s number.


Rabbi Winkler: Yes, I'll be teaching a weekend I think, it's March 14th-15th and you have to contact Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaeffer for it. You're right on that, that’s the right number. Contact him and not to contact me. Well, that’s OK, you just have to call me anyway.

David Debin: We're all interconnected.

Rabbi Winkler: Google me.

David Debin: We're all interconnected.

Rabbi Winkler: All interconnected. The kabbalah is about that, it's about looking into the core of what it is that makes us who we are. Like one good teacher who comes to mind that just sums it all up is a teaching by the first century rabbi, [xx], the Galilean who said that “When the Creator created, the Creator just made a stone.” That’s all. Can I go now? [laughs]

Peter Brill: Wait a minute. That’s going to take me a while. Let's see, when the Creator created, the creator…

Rabbi Winkler: The Creator created the creator. [laughs]

Peter Brill: …he just created a stone.

Rabbi Winkler: I'll put the comma on the right place. “When the Creator created, the Creator only created a stone.”

Peter Brill: OK.

Rabbi Winkler: There you go. And then threw that stone into the void, into the emptiness and from that one stone, the entire universe came into being. So that was an ancient Jewish mystical story of Creation.

Peter Brill: Not far from the truth of the Big Bang. They now think [xx]…

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, Big Bang.

Peter Brill: …really get way out there in your Physics. They think it's a negative gravity--what do they call it when things wink in and out of existence--but it winked into just the best they can…

Rabbi Winkler: Income.

Peter Brill: …the universe, yes. Exactly. So it's a Quantum event, it was a huge negative gravity Quantum event is what they call it. So it's very much, it just suddenly, matter appeared out of nothing.

Rabbi Winkler: Exactly. If you really think about it, and that’s what kabbalah is about, it's about trying to trace everything to its primal point of beginning, of genesis, that everything really is a stone. I mean, where do we come from, out of thin air? We come from the earth, eventually, somehow, and earth is stone. Earth doesn’t exist except by virtue of the sun and the sun is a stone, too. All the stars, all the planets are stones. Everything is a stone.

So basically, the idea of it is to--when we are so buried by the layers and layers of evolution in life and in our own personal lives, we lose track of who we really are deep down inside at our core. We're born and we're incubated and then we're educated and graduated and hired and retired and we don’t have an opportunity much to really trace the river of our life back into the trickle that oozes out of the rock out of primal point of beginning in our lives.

Who really are we? Are we who we are by virtue of what we have or are we who we are in spite of what we have? That’s what the kabbalah, basically, is a discipline about trying to make that journey, trying to encourage people to trace themselves to their core and not get lost in the waterfall but rather find the stream from which the waterfall comes from and the trickle from which the stream comes from.

Peter Brill: The greatest truce and the greatest things in life are invisible. Right? We never see an atom.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s right.

Peter Brill: We never see love.

Rabbi Winkler: Exactly.

Peter Brill: We see the manifestations although we don’t see the thing itself.

Rabbi Winkler: Exactly. See, you're a kabbalist already.

Peter Brill: Really?

Rabbi Winkler: You're already a kabbalist. Here, you sit in front of this mic [xx].

Peter Brill: Geez, do I have to sit here and being insulted? [laughs]

David Debin: I don’t know if that’s true. Ask Jessica Alba, you know. That’s for sure.

Peter Brill: [laughs] So what can our Third Age listeners take away from this study?

Rabbi Winkler: They can take away a lot of things. But first, you have to give it to them so we can begin with some of the teachings in this ancient tradition is about atom. This stage of life that you're calling the Third Age, we look at it in terms of seasonal cycles and also the four winds.

So you have a mystery in the North which is winter; you have a spring in the East which is the beginning of life, a person is born; then you have summer which is like the teen and young adult years, the virile years; and, then you have autumn in the West which is about the age from the mid 40s and on into 60. Then you come back into the 70s and 80s and you're back into the mystery place.

So autumn is a time of inwardness and we can learn a lot about what happens to us as we're moving in to middle age that a lot of life is moving inward where we're doing more introspection. We're thinking more like, as you were saying at the beginning of the program, about spirituality. Like spirits, we're looking at our spirit selves to try to discover meaning in life, the destructions of external stimuli is no longer as potent in our lives as now we're being drawn inwardly just like the earth brings everything inwardly in autumn.

Peter Brill: OK. So we're being drawn inwardly, but so what?

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, so now [laughs], we're being drawn inwardly then we face a little dilemma like, “Hey, is this where I want to be drawn? I miss the other stuff. I miss summer. I miss the summer of my life, the external stimuli, the color, the shape, the aroma, and how I'm moving inward and I don’t know much what to do with this. So there are many different teachings about that. There's a teaching, for example, that reminds us that we are here for the purpose of not knowing why. [laughs] So it's an opportunity, it's an era in our life and we're encouraged to not seek the meaning of life in books and teachings and even my own seminars, but to discover in ourselves our meaning. What is meaningful to us? Sort of like the questions that you were asking in the beginning, Dr. Brill.

Peter Brill: Peter.

Rabbi Winkler: Peter, right. [laughs]

Peter Brill: Once, we’d sit down [xx].[laughs]

Rabbi Winkler: If he's the man from Hollywood, why can't you be Dr. Brill?

Peter Brill: All right. All right. Anyway, we're going to have to take a break. We will be back and find the meaning of life here in just a moment. So you're listening to “Third Age” and I'm Dr. Brill.

[radio break]

David Debin: We're back with the “Third Age.” This is David Debin, also known as the Man from Hollywood. [drum roll]

Peter Brill: That was a really short thing.

David Debin: You know what? That’s all I get…

Peter Brill: I know.

David Debin: …for being the Man from Hollywood. I'd like to hear like a starlet going, “Oooh!” [laughter] That might be a little better. I'm here with the Great Brill, Dr. Peter Brill and Rabbi Gershon Winkler and we're talking about something that is fascinating to me and I hope it is to you. It is something that we'll help us get through the Third Age and not only get through it but enjoy it, learn from it, and move on spiritually.

I'm wondering if this is part of it, somebody was saying the other day talking about a friend who's 91 years old--it was his father, that’s right. He was ready to go and he’d had an active life, a full life, and everything else but he was ready to go. Can the kabbalah make us ready to go or can this, you know, what we learn here make us ready to go? The worse thing is having to go and holding on to stuff and not being angry and not being in the natural flow of what life is which is life, death, life, death, whatever it is. So can you answer that stupid question?

Rabbi Winkler: [laughs] I'll try to give you a stupid answer. Yes, I mean, the kabbalah can answer that question for you, it’ll be $15.

David Debin: OK. You get it from the doctor.

Rabbi Winkler: I'll get it from you, OK, I got it.

David Debin: I'll pay you back later.

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, I mean, let's go back to the autumn thing. OK, we're in autumn now. So we're going inward and into the winter, winter is the mystery place that when the guy’s 90, that’s wintertime. So in our tradition, we have these very intense rituals in autumn, so that’s our New Year and our year is 5768 right now. I'm so old, I forget what I was talking about. [laughs]

So in that autumn, a harvest ritual that we have, usually September or October, we are preparing for the mystery of winter. You can take that into your personal life preparing for the mystery of winter for the time of leaving the obvious and going into the inconspicuous, into the mystery, into the earth.

What that ritual is basically about is creating a sense of trust in the process of life because in harvesting, the farmer--we were an agrarian people way back then--we didn’t know whether anything was ever going to grow back again after we harvest. We took everything from the earth and we put it in our storehouses and that was it. Winter was now coming and we had no clue, no promise, no guarantee that anything would ever come back again.

So autumn is also a period for us, at our age, to start going through the process of process of acknowledging life as a cycle, as a series of cycles. We didn’t trust any of the phases we went through but we came through them and now, we're going to let go of the uncertainty, the not knowing, the unknown which is what death is. Death is an unknown. That’s what scares most people, we don’t know what it is.

David Debin: Except for those who claim to get a first hand knowledge.

Rabbi Winkler: Right, except for those. [laughs] But I don’t know what it is. It's a time to say to ourselves, “You know what? I'm going to ready myself for taking chances in life. I'm going to take a cruise which I never did. I'm going to fly and jump out of an airplane. I'm going to do something in my life now in autumn that has been my passion, my dream but I never thought that it was really something I could access. In so doing and getting to those places within us, we prepare ourselves for uncertainty and for the mystery of winter and for the mystery of death. We have no clue of anything will ever grow back again in winter and after winter, but it does.

Peter Brill: You said something before about the going inward and giving up the reality of the sensory summer. But I'm beginning to wonder now, maybe it's just because I'm so fundamentally selfish and greedy, but I'm beginning to wonder if you can have it all. If you can have the intensity of the experience of all stages of life in this stage of life that the childlike experience, of the joy and fascination of things that you bring to childhood experiences that is play, that everything is new, that life is filled with feeling and joy, and the summer part that you described. There's so much sensory richness to every second of life.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s beautifully said, yes, and it's like that. In the kabbalah, they talk about how the human is the creature that incorporates the attributes of all the other creations. The soul of the rock lives in the soul of the plant. The soul of the plant lives in the soul of the animal and the soul of the animal, which has a soul of a plant and the soul of the rock, lives in the soul of the human.

So it is a full circle thing because the animal is in the South, the plant is in the East, the human is in the West [laughs], and the stone is in the North and the place of mystery, the place of all beginning. So it is a full circle.

Peter Brill: So you can have both mystery and love or mystery and deep sensuality or sexuality and mystery and, you can take up spirit and body.

Rabbi Winkler: Right, because autumn is the earth taking everything back in, everything. That means that all the color, all the shape, and everything is going inward so it's not as dramatically revealed in its differentiated components as it is in summer but it's more unified, it's more integrated.

Peter Brill: That’s wonderful. That certainly describes my own life.

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, mine, too. Come to think of it, thank you, Peter.

David Debin: Including the time you spent in jail?

Peter Brill: [laughs] You promised never to tell, David.

David Debin: We were in this, this change card that I was talking about in the tower last night, the change card. It was really a beautiful card and it was a circle, a many-colored circle, with shafts of light going around it. But the circle was divided into four parts, which is what we talked about in our workshops, the four stages of transformation that we all go through but they don’t stop once you get through the cycle. You go through the cycle again just like with this enchantment of cocooning, of getting ready, and then going forward again which is like the seasons that you're talking about, Gershon.

Rabbi Winkler: Yes. When you think back in your younger days [laughs]--I'm not talking about us but the people who are listening--when they think back in their younger days, they will realize that there were segments like when we were kids, grown ups were like aliens to us. But when we're teenagers--I have a teenage daughter and she rolls her eyes all the time while she's listening to this right now, she's rolling her eyes and they're going back and forth in their sockets as I'm speaking. We remember we were like that, too, to our parents and then we move on into adulthood and we still have our own. Now we really know what's right, as kids we didn’t and the elders don’t know what they're talking about and we know. Then we move into autumn and we begin to begin to relax more and see the child, the teenager, the grownup within us. That’s why we tolerate, we have more patience when we get in to this Third Age place and on.

That’s why in the ancient times, you didn’t go before a tribunal of teenagers or young people or young lawyers when you were summoned to a court. You were summoned to the 70 elders, you were summoned to people who were in their 70s who already had integrated all of those stages and could see the young in you, the middle in you, and the end in you, hopefully not.

David Debin: The problem is they couldn’t text message you. [laughter]

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, and they cough a lot.

David Debin: No, let's talk a little bit about that, about what elders do have to offer.

Peter Brill: I will, but you must wait. I wish you develop more patience. You're at this stage of your life, I think you're going to have to wait after the break.

David Debin: I'll be one of your patients.

Peter Brill: OK. [laughs] Be patient, we'll be right back. This is “Third Age”, I'm Dr. Peter Brill.

[radio break]

David Debin: We're back with the “Third Age.” We're having a wonderful time here talking about mysticism. As you all know, I am the Man from Hollywood [trumpet and drum roll] and I'm here with the Great Brill. I think there's something [xx] for the Great Brill.

Peter Brill: [laughs]

David Debin: The doctor, Peter Brill, and our guest is Rabbi Gershon Winkler who is really fabulous to talk to and he's got a lot of good information for us.

Peter, take the stage.

Peter Brill: Clearly, from reviewing your material and your website, you are a deeply spiritual man and deeply interested in mysticism, the mystical part of this. I was just hoping that you would give us some sense of how people can tap into that and how they can use that part of themselves.

Rabbi Winkler: You forgot to mention my humility.

Peter Brill: Oh, humility, yes.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s also on the website.

Peter Brill: Yes, OK. No, I don’t remember that. [laughs]

Rabbi Winkler: [laughs] [xx]. That was written up in who’s who in Humility back in 1989. So, yes, there's a lot we can do to ourselves. I mean, life that we enjoyed in the past is not something that should be left in the past. All of the seasons are integrated and they repeat themselves in cycles. We go through these different stages as if they were compartmentalized. You know, I'm still a kid. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t remember where the demarcation line was between the age of four, which is when I was born, and the age of 18 or the age of 30 or the age of 40.

In our tradition, we have that story of Moses--Charlton Heston movie. [laughs]

Peter Brill: [laughs] So easy to get them confused. But when you're searching for the mystical, you know, you can hear if somebody give a very erudite speech about spirituality and there are other times in your life when you can feel the mystical depth of existence. Part of what you do is you take the very primitive human experience and you try to find a way to communicate that to other people, to bring that to other people.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s correct. I think all the clues…

Peter Brill: How do you do that?

Rabbi Winkler: …are right in front of us. They're right behind us, they're above us, they're below us. Everyone of us needs to go out every now and then to the mountains, to the wilderness, to the primal place to reconnect to something deep within us that is very often fragmented from our consciousness because of our daily life and the pressures of life and the rapidness of technology that [xx].

Peter Brill: Not only the [xx]. How do you help people do it? You actually do programs.

Rabbi Winkler: Yes.

Peter Brill: What do you do in those programs?

Rabbi Winkler: Well, first, when we're finish with Moses. [laughs]

Peter Brill: [laughs] OK, did I interrupt Moses?

Rabbi Winkler: Well, he was interrupted a lot. Moses interrupt us, you know, and he's standing there at the burning bush, if you saw the movie. There, he's arguing with God who is trying to convince him to go to Egypt to take the people out, to take the slaves out which was his passion 40 some years ago, earlier, before he’d got kicked out of Egypt for slaying an Egyptian who was beating on a Hebrew slave. They didn’t kill back then, they slew.

So when he left Egypt, he left his passion behind him and now, he's being given the opportunity to go back and take care of what he wanted to do and he argues. You know, “I don’t want to go. I can't do this. Send somebody else.” He lost cite of what his passion was and it's like the Great Psychiatrist in the sky is reminding him that “You're old passion of your youth is still within you.” You can just resurrect it and there are ways to do that with meditation that we use in our tradition in the kabbalah.

It has to do with the Four Rivers that emanate from your heart. These are the Four Rivers that are mentioned in our Creation story that emanate from the place of nothing, the place of primal beginning, the place of non-definition. The River with no name, it comes out and waters the garden of Eden in that story, the four branches are called Hiddekel, which means simplicity and unity; then you have Gihon, which means passion, belly flow; then you have Parat [sp], which means fruition, bringing your dreams to fruition; and then you have--what's the other one, somebody help me--Pison, which means mouth of transformation.

So in other words, you have these three places in our heart that are very important criteria for our wholesome development in life that we then follow in meditation back into our heart, into the place of beginning, into the place of silence. We look for “What am I in my simple self without all the stuff - my titles, my business cards, everything. Who am I? What is my connection with everything around me?” That’s the first River, simplicity and unity.

Then you have passion, what is my passion? My passion, not what has been defined for me by my religion, my society, my culture, my community. What is my passion? What do I want to do, not only the opportunity given to me but what could I do? What do I want to do?

Then, there is multiplicity and fruition, which has to do with working on bring me all the different personalities that I am into the oneness that I am. We're different, we're different here in the studio that we are out in the living room before the studio. We're different during the program than we are during the break. People should only know what we're doing in the program. [laughter] We're different at home than we are at work. We're someone with different personalities to bring in all those fragments together.

Then there is the passive way of transformation, standing at the door of doing something different in your life and daring to do it. Often, we're standing at the crossroads and we don’t know what to do that we are accustom to looking at life in the same way all the time. So that particular river encourages us to try to look at the same thing we've always been looking at in a very different way.

Peter Brill: Boy, that is great wisdom. That is fabulous, fabulous wisdom.

David Debin: I'm really going to take this CD and play it [xx], really I am.

Rabbi Winkler: [laughs] Don’t, because a DVD.

David Debin: [xx] But I'm going to download this on iTunes because we podcast through iTunes. I'm going to download this and I'm going to play it in my car. That was just great.

Peter Brill: That was a fabulous one. How do people find your program if they want to attend one of your seminars or your--what do you call them?

Rabbi Winkler: Workshops, seminars, classes.

Peter Brill: How do they do it?

Rabbi Winkler: I can't even find them sometimes, so I have to look in my website. Well, they can go on my website and they can even subscribe for free to an email newsletter that goes out once or twice a month.

Peter Brill: What is your website?

Rabbi Winkler: It tells people where we're doing all our teachings. I teach together with my beloved Miriam Maron. She's going to be also teaching with me on March 14 here in Sta. Barbara.

Peter Brill: How do they find you?

Rabbi Winkler: You mean the website address is

David Debin: Walk in stick or walking stick?

Rabbi Winkler: [laughs] Yes, Walking Stick.

Peter Brill: If they want to call so they can enroll, what number they can call?

Rabbi Winkler: They can call my number is 805-795-2996. If they want to know about the March 14, March 15 the Sta. Barbara thing, they got to call Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaeffer at 683-4561.

David Debin: One thing that Arthur Schaeffer said when he was on this program, which we actually have in our book because it was such a dynamite line, he says, “Everyone I meet, I see the word “God” on their forehead.” I thought that was such a great thing to say. What a principle to live by, one of the principles to live by.

Rabbi Winkler: Yes, yes.

Peter Brill: David, you’ve often said that the big transformation is the experience of oneness with everybody else. Right?

David Debin: Yes, right.

Peter Brill: That’s what you believe, that you're one with everybody.

Rabbi Winkler: Everything is a stone. We're all stone.

David Debin: [xx] by everybody must keep stone. That’s what it was about.

Peter Brill: I don’t know, David. [laughs]

Rabbi Winkler: Simple unity, yes.

Peter Brill: Rabbi, thank you very, very much for being on our show today.

Rabbi Winkler: You're very welcome.

Peter Brill: We really appreciate your wisdom and your guidance. We'll be right back with the last segment here with David and I. So stay with us on New Year’s and the other days [xx].

David Debin: Nineteen, what year is this?

Peter Brill: 2008 or 59 [xx]. We'll be right back.

[radio break]

David Debin: We're back with the “Third Age.” I am the Man from Hollywood here with the Great Brill, Dr. Peter Brill. We just had a fabulous discussion with Rabbi Gershon Winkler. I know that there are people who live for the news stories that we give at the beginning of the show. [sounds of cymbals?] But I just picked up a few of the stories on that have been from this year’s. So a wrap up for the past year.

From a Muscat woman, no I better not do that one. [laughs] A Greek nunnery turned into a marijuana farm by two men posing as gardeners, that’s one story. A South African man with a gunshot wound told by a doctor to walk the pain off. Another unusual living arrangement, a German man left his dead mother seated in her favorite armchair at their shared home for two years after her death of natural causes at the age of 92. He just kept her around.

Peter Brill: [xx]. Right. [laughs]

David Debin: Here's one, a Muscat woman set fire to her ex-husband’s penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka.

Rabbi Winkler: Circumcision, Russian style.

Peter Brill: [laughs] We'll give you the answer, you give us the question. [laughter]

David Debin: The couple divorced.

Peter Brill: Really? She divorced him? I can't believe it.

David Debin: That was the news, that was the news.

Rabbi Winkler: That’s no grounds for divorce?

Peter Brill: Just one more, go ahead, one more.

David Debin: In China, 66-year-old Zhenf Mu Zheng said 40 years of swallowing live tree frogs and rats helped him avoid intestinal pain and made him strong.

Rabbi Winkler: I believe in that.

David Debin: You do? It's in the kabbalah.

Rabbi Winkler: Absolutely, yes. [laughter] It must be somewhere in there.

David Debin: Now, Dr. Brill is going to bring us back to earth.

Peter Brill: No, no. I just want to go back and just talk about, again, this is a coming year, this is the time of change, this is a time where people look to what they want the year to be. And the Third Age Foundation is here to help you in that journey. We have coaching groups, workshops, and we even have something at City College that we do, 969-9794 or Third Age Foundation,

Make your life as meaningful and as passionate and filled with joy and filled with love as it possibly can be, don’t settle for less.

David Debin: Join the Third Age group, we're having fun as you could tell by our show. We're having fun in the groups and the only thing that we haven’t talked about today which is our new segment that we haven’t which is the “I won't back down” segment. Do you remember the “I won't back down” segment? Here we go.

Peter Brill: I remember.

David Debin: Do you remember?

Peter Brill: [laughs] OK, David, what won't you back down from?

David Debin: That’s a good question, that is a very good question. What won't I back down from? I have to think about that.

Peter Brill: How much more time do you have to think about it? I'm afraid you're going to have to think about it next week.

David Debin: Can I answer that next week?

Peter Brill: Yes. Last year, and we didn’t have a little bit of celebration for a last year, so I just want to look forward to a wonderful year for all of our listeners and for you, David, and everybody in the studio. You have been listening to the “Third Age.” I'm Dr. Peter Brill.

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