Rabbi Leder to present Ethical Wills session as part of Federation’s Three Pillars Series

By Sarah Provancher
For Community 

Rabbi Steve Leder’s message is one that we all probably need to hear right now. In his new book, “For You When I am Gone,” Rabbi Leder shares the importance of aligning one’s values with the way that one’s life is being lived. He explained in a recent interview with Community that the people who do this are the happiest people he knows.  

Rabbi Leder will bring his message to the Jewish Federation of Louisville on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in a Zoom presentation from Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Ca. Rabbi Leder is Senior Rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world and has twice been named by Newsweek as one of the 10 most influential Rabbis in the U.S. He is regularly interviewed by NBC’s The Today Show and has appeared on countless talk shows as a guest.  

The topic of his presentation is “Ethical Wills,” and while he will discuss the series of 12 questions that a person should ask themselves, and put in writing, for their loved ones, he will also explain how this act leads to finding truth in one’s own life. 

Rabbi Leder shared that ethical wills are so important in today’s world because words carry greater value than physical things. Personal values are, “the greatest treasure that you can bequeath to family members before you leave,” said Rabbi Leder. “All material objects don’t have their own existential meaning and we should never pretend that they do. We should bequeath to our loved ones the truth of our lives.” 

He often says to people that the material items are like handing your loved ones a picture of food.  

“It won’t nourish them, it won’t sustain them, and it won’t comfort them,” he explained. “So, what do people want? They want your life story, they want your life lessons, they want your life legacy, they want your blessing, they want what you learned from failure and regret, they want to be guided by what you believe it means to be a good human being and a good person.” 

Want to Go? 

Rabbi Steve Leder, part of Three Pillars Series, Thursday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. at the Trager Family Jewish Community Center. Tickets: Entire Series $36, JCC members; $54, non-members. Individual sessions $20  

Register at jewishlouisville.org/3-pillars

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