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Reflections on 9/11 and Our Lives Today

It was not my intention to send out another email. Yet as 9/11 is passing, one cannot help but contrast that day with what we are now living here in our own home.

As everyone else, I remember exactly where I was on 9/11. I remember feeling there but for the grace of G-d go I. Who did not see people throw themselves out of windows 100 stories up? Who can ever forget that sight? Looking at pictures taped all over New York – if you see this person please call… On that day the world as we knew it changed forever.

Today I read a couple of first-person stories. One of a brilliant young 31 year old man with his entire life ahead of him. He was the first to die on 9/11, stabbed to death on the first plane. It seems he tried to take on the terrorists. There was another longer story about the mayor of Jerusalem who was in New York with his son. The mayor it seems was already en route back to Israel but his son was still in New York. When the son reached the assistant of the mayor in Jerusalem he told her that he was with a very good friend of his who could not reach his parents. Would the assistant please call them from Israel and tell them their son is alive. I wept thinking of my own children and the gripping fear parents, husbands and wives must have felt that day.

After reading those two stories I could not help but contrast what is going on in here, with a government intent on causing divisiveness among its own citizens.

I thought to myself, is this all these people have to think about? How they have lost sight of simple, common decency.

Imagine, G-d forbid, if we had some kind of terrorist attack here. Do you think for one second the french Canadian would refuse treatment in a hospital from a doctor wearing a hijab or a yarmulka? And do you think that the doctor would refuse to treat anyone?

People who live here are decent human beings. The ice storm showed that very well. Neighbors helped each other. People went out of their way to seek out elderly people trapped in their apartments. If one person had power, they opened their home to complete strangers on their street.

What can we do to counter evil in the world, which has now landed right on our doorstep? Do acts of goodness and kindness. Smile when you are in public – even if you don’t feel like it. Just be nice to everyone you meet, no matter what they look like or what they are wearing.

In the end, it is G-d who runs the world no matter what those in power here think.

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