The High Holidays are always a good time to reflect, and this year, as I was serially sermonized in ways both inspirational and depressing, I was asked to consider that we can always start anew -- that, as the dorm posters used to say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
Each year, the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet forces is marked on Jan. 27, but this year, the 60th anniversary has given Poland, site of the most infamous Nazi death camps, a special opportunity for remembrance and reflection.
The anniversary ceremonies, which will be held at the memorial site in Birkenau, will draw an assortment of international dignitaries and leaders. Among those slated to attend are Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Ukrainian President-elect Viktor Yuschenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Why is it that the Torah tells us that Abraham is sitting in the opening of the tent?
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana ("Head of the Year" in Hebrew), is an occasion for celebration and feasting but also for introspection and reflection.