Baila suggested that everyone write about where they were ten years ago today. Here’s my contribution:
As far as I can recall, September 11, 2001 (23 Elul 5761) was more or less a regular Tuesday here in TRLEOOB*.
Work. School. Gan.
Each member of the Shiputzim family had spent the day going about their ordinary, daily routines.
And then, late that afternoon, YZG walked in the door with a very strange expression on his face…
On the way home from work, he had been listening to the news, but he couldn’t understand what they were talking about.
Of course, we had been here in Israel long enough that he could translate all the words - “terrorists,” “airplanes,” “the World Trade Center” – but nothing they were saying seemed to make any sense.
I had asked him to pick up a few groceries, and so he first made a quick stop in our local makolet (neighborhood grocery store). They had the radio on there, too, and the storekeeper and the handful of customers were deep in conversation.
YZG was shocked to discover that he had heard correctly.
As soon as he came home, we immediately called our American relatives. We noted the irony that a year after the Oslo War had begun, now we were the ones calling them.
B”H, they were fine and didn’t really know too much more than we did. They were hearing the same rumors and speculations.
I vaguely recall discussing how one of the Towers had just collapsed. Was it the first? The second? I don’t remember.
About a month before, we had celebrated our third aliyah-versary.
After three years, one is no longer considered to be a “new oleh,” and indeed, much had happened in the years since we first arrived. Our family had grown ba”h; my beloved grandmother z”l had passed away.
But it was on that terrible day that I realized just how far we had come. Because our emotions and reactions to the atrocity were purely Israeli.
Like all our neighbors, we were horrified, disgusted, sickened, and deeply saddened.
However, in the days, weeks, and months that followed, we were also cautiously optimistic that maybe, just maybe, the US – and the world – finally understood what we are up against here and that there would be no more talk of “cycles of violence” or “proportional responses” [sic].
And then, we were dismayed to realize that in spite of everything, nothing had really changed…
May we be privileged to enjoy only besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) from here on in.
*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog