During the year I spent studying in Jerusalem as a rabbinic student, it was impossible to escape the upcoming High Holy Days.
Growing up in rural Massachusetts, Judaism held a much different context in my life than it does now. Until college, I did Judaism, mimicking the motions of being a "good Jew." I didn't combine milk and meat in my house because my father told me not to.
Following World War II, many Jews were confined to displaced persons (DPs) camps in Allied-occupied countries. Among them were my parents and parents-in-law.