On this day I think of incomprehensible loss of innocent life.
On this day I think of those whose deaths and suffering came from their efforts to save lives, to clean up a toxic site, who couldn't live with the traumatic memories of the Towers coming down.
On this day I think of my wife and children, who witnessed the Towers getting hit, ran south to Bowling Green, and got the last train out of Manhattan, returning to an equally incomprehensibly beautiful, calm, September morning in Brooklyn. But the traumas they absorbed took years to heal and they joined a circle of thousands and thousands and thousands, who work daily to turn trauma to triumph.
On this day I think of how the citizens of our country changed forever that day, in some ways came closer together and in others ways moved farther apart.
And as I think personally about my own experiences since then, the following text, from Rabbi Nahman of Breslov, comes to mind:
"The Psalmist wrote, 'If I ascend to heaven, there you are; and if I make my bed in hell, behold, there you are.' (Psalm 139.8)
Even in the lowest pit of hell, a person can draw himself closer to God Almighty, for even there God can be found."
After 9-11, most people I know questioned God, questioned religion, and made active lives of rejecting it forever. I chose the opposite path. To be part of a religious community of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and many others I've met since 9-11 who have worked tirelessly to save religion from the fanatics, from those whose corruptions of faith dare to take lives in the name of God--the greatest of all sins.
And so today, the prayers of my heart, the words of my mouth, and the work of my hands join with countless other religious leaders around the world to bring light, truth and understanding to a world darkened by evil.
Even in a hellish abode, one can find God. One must find God if one believes in God. And promise the world that it is the sacred duty of believers to never rest so that the horrors of today, to the best of our ability, can never happen again.