My last post about 9/11 had nothing to do with intermarriage, but this one has everything to do with it.
Shoshana Hebshi, an Ohio blogger/writer/journalist who is both Arab and Jewish (Saudi atheist dad, American Jewish mom) is definitely getting her 15 minutes of fame.
Detained in the Detroit Metro airport on the 10-year-anniversary of 9/11 — the victim of what Atlantic blogger Jeffrey Goldberg describes as “in-air paranoia” — she has detailed the experience in a blog post that is getting picked up in media outlets around the country, no doubt because she is such an articulate (and attractive) example of racial profiling.
On September 11, 2001, after my Manhattan offices at the Jewish Federations of North America were evacuated, I walked across the street to pick up my friend Wendy from her office, and the two of us headed uptown to get my husband Michael from his. We planned to camp out at Wendy’s Upper West Side apartment until the Long Island Rail Road began running again. We made one stop along the way at the supermarket, to pick up the necessities we thought we would require if we couldn’t leave for a few days.
Like most of you, I've been overwhelmed with 9/11 coverage the last few days. But I couldn't resist posting this sharp review of a recent book of Orthodox rabbinical responses to the tragedy. Based on the reviews, it gives a revealing look at how Orthodox Jews, from haredim to Modern's, have addressed both the deeper theological meanings of the attacks, as well as practical halakhic concerns.
Warning: What follows has nothing to do with intermarriage, and it's a few days late for the mountain of 10-year anniversary reflections. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to write and share it anyway:
Had we not been tired and had the admissions lines not been so long that afternoon, my husband and I would have been in the Anne Frank House on 9/11, when the planes hit.
I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to be standing in that famous and ultimately failed hiding place, surrounded by evidence of human evil (and heroism), while hearing the horrifying news.
9/11 changed so much. We all know that. Much has changed in technology since that dreadful day ten years ago. What if Twitter were around on 9/11? What if Facebook were around on 9/11? Think about how that would have changed that day.
In the face of evil and horrific events does come some good. Social media has grown in ways no one imagined in the pre-9/11 world. We network much more. We form groups and huddles and circles. We chat via video and texting.
Every New Yorker has a 9/11 story, and mine is rather unremarkable.
I was driving my kids to school and turned on the usual pop radio station, but there was no music. A plane had struck the World Trade Center. By the time I dropped off my son Zack at school, the second plane had struck. By the time I dropped off my youngest, Jacob, then barely a year old, at my in-laws, the first tower fell. By the time I reached Yeshiva Of Flatbush to drop my daughter off, the world was in full-blown terror-attack panic.
There's been a glut of 9/11 books published on the eve of this year's 10th anniversary. But all the new-ness overshadows the rich bevy of writing that's been published over the past decade since the attacks. Literary critics have been debating what effect, if any, Sept. 11 has had on fiction in particular in recent days, but one of the best essays I've read is this one by Adam Kirsch.
A Nobel Peace laureate looks back on 9/11, and what it taught us.
Special To The Jewish Week
Ten years ago to the day I was in a taxi with my wife, Marion, near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. Music was playing on the radio when it abruptly stopped. The announcer’s voice took some time to explain that a major plane crash had just happened downtown. Because of thick traffic, we were still in the car when the second plane crashed into the other building.
We looked back and, through the window, saw flames engulfing the first tower.
Death was closing in. From the 85th floor of the World Trade Center, Andrew Zucker could see it coming as if in slow motion. For months he’d been e-mailing friends, cornering them in shul, telling about the mid-morning conversations dissolving into screams; rescue workers rushing into smoke; someone’s torso over there, his leg over there; a cascading of broken glass; loved ones dialing cell phones, unanswered; a pair of shoes; a baby carriage standing eerily alone into the afternoon; a sky with ash in lieu of clouds until night fell and all was ghostly and still.