Nine-eleven…I shall never forget. It was my son, Ian’s, first day as a substitute teacher in my school district. He was downtown, Newark, at our Market Street vocational location. He called me on my cell. “Mom, Dr. Noble just told me to bring my gym class inside the building to a classroom on the 4th floor. The Twin Towers in NYC are on fire, we can see it from here. Turn on your computer. Get back to me. What is going on?”
I hung up even as I got CNBC News on my computer. I called all four of my schools just to check in. I called my son back. I was already in my car on my way to him. I got as far as our Bloomfield location and there, from the fourth floor, surrounded by students and staff, I watched the 2nd tower fall.
By the time I got to Newark, and my son, we all knew the truth, the horrible truth.
My other son, Michael, was in Texas but I checked in with him after not being able to reach my daughter, Davide, who at the time was working down off 14th St in NYC.
All phone lines in and out of NYC were useless. No one was getting through. All was in chaos. Later that morning, by some miracle, my daughter got through to my cell. She was walking up the FDR Drive, north to her apartment on E. 88th Street. Many people were walking with her. She was safe and even if I could have gotten to her to bring her to New Jersey, she didn’t want to leave her “jewelbox” on E. 88th Street in her beloved, NYC.
My children were accounted for and safe as it were. But what about others…on that day, and the days that followed, we were all one-one human family.
And that’s where my mind was as I found the Dalai Lama speaking, live from the Netherlands, on my cell phone this morning -“we, all 7 billion of us, living here are earth, are one family of mankind.”
Not too long ago I was in a Landmark Forum in front of my class of some 170 like-minded adult souls, professing that I wanted to use my ministry, my rabbinate, to work towards world recognition of that reality. I wanted to insure that all humans know they are loved, cherished, cared for and aware of this reality of relatedness.
And here, the Dalai Lama, was professing the possibility of world peace, through oneness of humanity-harmony through compassion.
This is of the utmost of importance. This is our hope for survival. This is the path.
Yes, I remember this is 9/11 but let me preach compassion-compassion for those who perished, for those who mourn, and yes, even for those who schemed and brought their plans to fruition-for they too are part of this humanity. We can no longer pretend they are not part of us. We are all one. No one can be discounted…no matter how much their thoughts and actions, differ from ours.
HaShem, give me the spirit and the compassion, the knowledge and the love to do this work. It is not easy but it is the work to be done.
Here I am, Baruch HaShem. Here I am.
With Blessings and love for all of us,