Background noise


Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh received a B.A. from Skidmore College and was ordained as a Rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is fortunate to be involved in so many facets of the community including serving as the chaplain for JF&CS and an instructor for CAJE. This will be her fifth year serving as the visiting Rabbi in Decatur, Ill. She has also served congregations in both Sydney and Perth, Australia. When not writing her weekly BLOGS, she can be found running marathons.

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

When I was a child I liked to watch television. I enjoyed game shows as well as comedies like Happy Days and Three’s Company. In college and Rabbinical School television was a welcomed break from studying. As a mom who juggles many responsibilities, television is a luxury. And when I am not at work, television is background noise.

It was not until recently that I learned there is television channel devoted to old game shows. I have walked into an activity area and believe I have been transported back to my six-year-old self watching Match Game. There are days when I am with residents that I hear an entire episode of the Price is Right!


For some residents, television is a panacea. It helps to pass the day. Others cannot wait for the Baseball season to start so they can cheer on the Cards. And sadly, I have seen activity directors use television as a babysitter. The channel is turned to a station completely incongruent with the likes of a 90 year old man.

Certainly, the Greatest Generation appreciates the old, classic movies. Yet, this is not what I see or hear. Many like the news stations with 24 hour coverage. Yet, I tend to only see this in the privacy of one’s own room.

There are days when I yearn for complete silence. I no longer want the background noise as I prepare dinner or do the laundry. There will be plenty of time to catch up on the shows I am missing. I am confident they will reach syndication.