Thursday, September 11, 2008

Osama Bin Laden-My part in his downfall

Today is the seventh anniversary of 9/11. I'm sure that a lot will be written, though probably not as much as should be written. One of the mercies of G-d is that over time we are able to forget.
Anyway, I played no major part on that fateful day, but like most people who were alive then I remember it vividly. Here then, in my own words, is an account unlike any other you have seen on this blog. By that, I mean that I didn't take any literary licenses with it.

I was in ninth grade in the Lubavitch Yeshiva of Minnesota-Wexler Learning Institute in the fall of 2001, and the Yeshiva was then located in the east wing of the Sholom Home East. We were taking off our Tefillin following morning prayers when Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm walked into the Zal and told us that a small aircraft had crashed into the Twin Towers, and we should say Tehillim. We said some, and were told that Seder would start at the normal time. After eating breakfast I went into Zalmen Kasowitz's room (did anybody notice yet that I'm an inveterate name dropper?), which also happened to be Avremi Klein's room (who else am I forgetting here?), and we sat and listened to the radio. By that time we heard that a second plane had hit, though neither tower had fallen. We stayed listening for about an hour, huddled up in a corner of the room, afraid that a member of Hanhala would walk in and confiscate the radio. As it turns out, the main member of Hanhala was watching everything unfold on a TV in a different part of the building, but at the time we of course didn't know that.

Afterwords I came into Zal and began to discuss the situation with Rabbi Mottel Friedman. Even at that point we knew that it had been done by Muslim terrorists, and I was convinced that war was in the offing. Later we went into class, and even though no one was interested in learning we did so because, as our teacher put it, "It's in the merit of those who died today."
That night Levi Feller came over and we sat and watched coverage on the TV. Over and over they showed the planes crashing in, and over and over we watched the Twin Towers tumble. A couple of times we saw footage of Palestinians dancing, but later on they stopped replaying it. That night, as I lay me down in my bed, I heard fighter planes circling in the sky, and realized that our national debt was about to skyrocket out of control.
OK, so that part isn't true, but the rest is.

15 comments:

nemo said...

Nothing personal, but "where was I on 9/11" stories are overaly boring. And for anyone our age that went to Yeshiva, all of them are identical. Just change the city/teacher names.

The Real Shliach said...

Nu nu.

Cheerio said...

maybe they're boring to you now, because you have your own story, but these remembrances are important. this was an event that was shared by people worldwide, that affected the country we live, that changed everyone's lives forever in so many ways, from the grand to the mundane, nationally and personally. everything that's happened in the last seven years has been influenced by the events of that day.
and for people born in the last seven years, for people who don't remember september 11, these stories are vital and intriguing, because it's these stories more than anything written in a history book that will make them relate to what happened.
it's like people from our parent's generation discussing where they were when jfk was shot. lhavdil elef havdalos, its like people who remember major events in lubavitch, like didan neztach or the rebbe's stroke, telling those stories.

Nemo said...

They're still boring.

I don't see what the fact that you were scratching your bum in Idaho while people were getting killed in NYC should interest anybody. Or have any commemorative importance.

The Real Shliach said...

Thank you for your support Cheerio.

S.Z.B. said...

For Nemo and all the others for whom the subtlety seemed to saunter clumsily over their heads.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler:_My_Part_in_his_Downfall_(book)

Cheerio said...

our lives are composed of personal details. in order to relate to an event that occurred on such a grand historical scale, we need to hear personal reactions, personal details, personal memories; then we can relate to the event.

Nemo said...

So watch videos of victims/survivors.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh SZB, you're so wonderful...

S.Z.B. said...

i know.

Cheerio said...

c'mon, nemo, just join the fun and tell us where YOU were.

The Real Shliach said...

He's probably embarrassed to admit that he was hiding in a cellar or something.

Nemo said...

Try this on for size:

I was in 10th grade at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, which was then located on Wightman St. in Squirrel Hill. We were taking off our tefillin following morning prayers when Rabbi Itkin walked in and told us that a [small] aircraft had crashed into the Twin Towers, and we should say some Tehillim. We said some and we were told that seder would start at normal time. After eating breakfast I went to Mrs. Ungar's office ... and we ... listened to the radio. By that time we heard that a second plane had hit, though neither tower had fallen. We stayed listening for about an hour ...

SZB: I'm sorry that I'm not as cultured as you guys, my learned and experienced friends.

mm said...

And what exactly was your part in the downfall? I didn't catch it.

The Real Shliach said...

mm: Go read the link SZB posted.