The Gantseh Megillah

Beyond September 11
September 1, 2001

I want this all to go away. I want the images emblazoned in my mind of the September 11th attack on the United States to disappear like those of a horrible nightmare. I want none of what occurred to be true. I want all the thousands of innocent souls who were lost in the attack to return to their full beings. I want the New York City skyline to return to its past splendor. I want, I want I want……..

If I sound like a spoiled pre-teenager stomping his feet and carrying-on, well you are right. My emotions are so intense and confused that at times I just do not know exactly how to cope with them. There is also something inside that tells me I am not alone with this.

I have received an abundance of email since the attack. The sentiments expressed were all over the map. Intense rage, total confusion, overwhelming sadness and cries for revenge were but some of the reactions that flooded my Inbox. Each and every person who wrote shared one thing in common though. We all are searching for ways to understand why such a horrendous thing should happen.

We all realize there is no simple answer to any of our questions. What we do know, is that the world is not the same place it was prior to September 11th. WE are not the same people we were. How can we be? We witnessed the death of almost 7000 people within the matter of a couple of hours. The deaths of people, who like many of us, were simply on their way to work in the same offices they reported to every day of every week of every year. Some others were quietly traveling to destinations for either business or pleasure and wound up being used as human bombs in the destruction of those innocents who were reporting for work that morning. How can we take anything for granted ever again?

I wish there was something profound within me I could say at this time. Words that would make us feel better, or help to explain the reasons for this unfathomable event. Alas, I do not have that kind of wisdom. So many others have already spoken and written many words concerning this tragedy and I find myself unable to come up with new or original statements that might add to what we have already heard and read. There is one concept however I would like to express to all of my Megillah family that I feel is so very important for each and every one of us to remember.

At a time like this, it is only natural to want to assign blame to someone or some group for what has been done to us. Retribution becomes the word of the day, and we want so badly for the villains in this case to be made to pay that we can practically taste it. I am all for ridding the world of terrorists and the evil they bring to our civilization. I share the intense desire to see these people and the regimes that offer them safe refuge suffer the consequences of their actions to the highest degree. But we must make sure to keep our heads about us.

While it is true that so far all the evidence our leaders know about points to Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups as the perpetrators of this heinous crime, it is urgent for all of us to remember that not ALL people who believe in the Muslim faith are terrorists. The Muslim religion is based on peace and respect for all mankind. It is NOT a violent religion by any means. The criminal element who claim to be part of the Nation of Islam and who engage in terrorist activities are bastardizing their religion for their own sick gains. Every single Muslim person of my own personal acquaintance is crying the same bitter tears we are over the loss of so many innocent lives. In the city of Montreal where I live, there have been prayer meetings and vigils held at Muslim houses of worship in honor of those who lost their lives. A true believer in the Muslim faith condemns with their whole heart the hateful and evil activities being carried out allegedly in their name.

Sadly there are hotheads roaming about who are taking the law into their own hands and attacking innocent people who happen to be Muslim or even simply appear to be of Arab descent of any kind. The Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States, as have leaders in other friendly nations, made a special point, over and over again, reminding us that our country is NOT at war with the Muslim religion. We ARE at war with terrorists who happen to call themselves Muslims; terrorists who are invoking the name of a peace loving people for the sake of their own twisted agenda. Those are the culprits we must go after. Those are the criminals we must rid the world of, and I have every faith that we will. But please, let us not allow our anger to bring us to the level of the criminal ourselves by pointing the finger of blame at the wrong people. This is a time for all peace loving individuals to join together with the singular goal of wiping out terrorism in our time. Of making certain that attacks such as what occurred on Sept 11th will never occur again. We can, and we will do this…together!

This issue of The Gantseh Megillah will be different from the norm. Most of the regular features will not appear this month but will return in the October edition. We made the decision to publish articles relating to the tragedy that present various points of view and perspectives. It is our hope you will find it interesting and enlightening.

The Letters to the Editor Section has been expanded as well so we might get a better idea as to how we are feeling as individuals concerning this moment in history.

We dedicate this issue of the Megillah to the memories of all the innocent people who lost their lives in the attack and the many heroes who died trying to rescue those they could. It is also in salute to the men and women who are tirelessly working at “ground zero” hoping against hope to find even one more human being alive in the rubble. May G-D bless them all.

All of my very best wishes and much love to all of you.

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