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September 06, 2002 - Image 176

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Teens

How Has The Aftermath Of 9-11
Changed The Way You Think And Live Jewishly?

Another Life Lesson

po

eople react differently to
terror.
On the morning of
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, our
country divided. Some Americans
chose _to band together in support of
grieving families and a nation, while
others reacted only by looking for a
culprit.
Prior to Sept. 11, my naivete kept
me from acknowledging the enormity
of ignorance and hatred that lives
within our own country. In the after-
math of terror, the Middle East and
Afghanistan became the targets for
blame, overshadowing,similar senti-

meats that exist within our
own borders amongst fellow
Americans.
This summer, I attended a
weeklong government simula-
tion with people from all over
Michigan. There, I encoun-
tered anti-Semitism firsthand.
Engaging discussions on
worldly issues and politics
could not camouflage those
individuals who came with
hatred and bigotry. "
My friend and-I, both Jews,
attended this event and were
confronted several times by

.

•_ROB
FELDMAN

Special to the
•Jewish News

anti-Semitism. Comments
like "Jews are so backwards,"
and "I hate Jews" surfaced.
One individual, with no -
idea of my religion, confessed
his hatred for Jews. After I
informed him that I was
Jewish, he rebutted that his
comment was a joke. We
both knew he didn't speak in
jest. He excused his prejudice
jest.
by minimizing the Holocaust
and stating versions of bibli-
cal history that would put
history teachers to shame.
Infuriated, I stayed calm,

A False Sense Of Security

T

he man who was respon-
sible for convincing the
Sbarro's pizza corporation
to rebuild the restaurant
blown up by a suicide bomber in
Jerusalem declined the invitation to
attend its re-dedication.
This unaffiliated Jewish Sbarro's "
executive thanked his Israeli coun-
terparts for the invitation, but
explained that he would not attend
because he did not want to risk his
life. Tragically, this man was in the
World Trade Center in New York
City on the day of the Jerusalem re-

dedication, Sept. 11.
My-heart stings as I hear
this story, but reflects on the
famous saying, "When we
make plans, God laughs."
This year, I recognized
that no matter how invinci-
ble we may feel, ultimately,
we are not the ones control-
ling this world. With Rosh
Hashanah upon us, I think
of the Unetaneh Tokef
prayer, in which God is
depicted as a shepherd and
all of humanity, his sheep,

DEBORAH
ANSTANDIG

Special to the
Jewish News

walking before Him. We
have no greater example
than Sept. 11 to remind us
that we are not omnipo-
tent; we do not cause the
sun to rise and set every
day.
As the year has gone on, I
have tried to live my life
more reliant on God. I rec-
ognize that, as a Jew, I have
a built-in obligation of
thanking God for each
blessing in my life — from
my ability to see, to the

We Must Stand Together

O

n Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002, I
left for Eretz Yisrael (the
land of Israel). I will be
spending the year learning
at Yeshivat Hakotel.
At first, with all of the terrorist
events in Israel, I was reluctant to
spend my first independent year in a
somewhat dangerous environment;
but the occurrence of Sept. 11 only
strengthened my decision to spend a
year in Israel. I will not alter my life

9/ 6
2002

176

out of fear!
On the contrary, - I will live my life
the way I have intended. I will live my
life by the ways of the Torah, while
continuing my Judaic studies and pur-
suing my dream to become a lawyer. I
will not hide who I am or what I
believe in.
Sept. 11 changed my life in many
ways. I now have a better under-
standing of what it feels like to have
the country that I live in and love

attacked by terrorists. I am
now much more sympathetic
and understanding toward
our brethren in Israel.
As Jews, we have survived
through persecution, hatred,
pogroms and the Holocaust.
The events of Sept. 11 have
made me more resolved to be
steadfastin my Judaism and
commitment to my goals,
family and community.

recited a quick history le s . son and
asked him to leave my room.
These individuals did not - confine
their hatred to Jews. Sept. 11, 2001,
and the months tha_t followed, have
changed rile. I know now, more than
ever, that I must use my knowledge
and conviction to help create under-
standing and tolerance among Jews
and non-Jews alike.
How can we expect to influence
world peace when hate and ignorance
are carried openly on our own soil? ❑

Rob Feldman, 17, is the son of Marla
and Murray Feldman of Farmington
Hills. He is a senior at North
Farmington High School in Farmington
Hills and a member of Temple Israel in
West Bloomfield.

ability to go to the bathroom! I
make a brachah (blessing) to remind
myself that my ability to think, walk
and wiggle my finger comes not out
of my own greatness, but from a
higher source.
I pray that it will never again take
a tragedy like Sept. 11 to remind us
to acknowledge the daily miracle of
being alive. May we all merit being
written in the Book of Life.



Deborah Anstandig, 17, is the

daughter of Marcia and Ronald
Anstandig of West Bloomfield. She is a
student at the Jewish Academy of
Metropolitan Detroit and a member
of Congregation Beth Ahm, both in
West Bloomfield.

I hope and pray that the rest of
the world will get a wake-up call
that we cannot bend to ter-
rorists. We must put our
faith in HaShem and our
resolve to stand together for
truth, freedom and tikkun
olam (repairing the world).

Aubrey Beneson, 18, is the
son of Marci and David

AUBREY
BENESON

Special to the
Jewish News

Beneson of Southfield. He is
a graduate of Yeshivat Akiva
in Southfield and a member
of Young Israel of Southfield.

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