Certainly, this story of Abraham and Sarah's tent -- as described in Genesis 18 and explicated in the midrash -- is particularly timely, as we begin the yearly cycle of Torah readings. Even more so, the story of Abraham and Sarah is directly relevant to what the Jewish community has become and where it wants to be.
So even if my rabbi's bar mitzvah talk engendered embarrassment and guilt in me, I now want to thank him for challenging me in the way he did that day.
The Florida case of a woman on life support for 13 years has put issues of how we die and when and how doctors and others should intervene on the front page. Whatever the courts say about that case, however, will only apply to federal and Florida law.
What would Jewish law say about such a case? That question is important because the issues raised in that case confront Jews often as they care for their parents, spouse and other loved ones and as they contemplate their own dying process.
The basic Jewish principle about these matters is clear: We are, on the one hand, not allowed to hasten the dying process, but on the other, we are not supposed to prolong it either.