Friday, September 09, 2011

Torah From Terror

Following the Jewish High Holiday season in 2001, I decided to collect the sermons that rabbis had delivered about 9/11. I knew that on September 11 most rabbis already had drafts of their High Holiday sermons completed, but after the attacks that day these rabbis would have to rewrite those sermons. That tragic day left us speechless, but rabbis had to come up with the right words to bring comfort to those sitting in front of them on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the days following 9/11.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 cast a dark shadow on the Days of Awe 5762. Many rabbis, after discarding their already prepared sermons, found their voices and were able to construct the appropriate words to bring a sense of comfort during those uncertain days.

I was in rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary at the time and I told my teacher, Rabbi Neil Gillman, about my idea for a project. Rabbi Gillman agreed to be the co-editor of the "Torah From Terror" project and we sent out requests to Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis asking them to submit a sermon from either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur that dealt with the 9/11 tragedy. Immediately, the sermons began pouring in. I organized the sermons into the Torah From Terror website.

On this, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks I have decided to reformat the Torah From Terror website. The sermons are now available at Now visitors are able to leave comments on the different sermons. Also, the search capability is much improved from the original site.

I hope you will visit the Torah From Terror website, and through those words of wisdom you will find comfort and hope. May those words be a remembrance of that horrific day in our nation's history and may we continue to find inspiration in words of Torah.

Our world has changed immensely in the past decade as a result of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, but we continue to pray the memories of the victims will be for blessings. God bless America.

1 comment:

rachel kapen said...

Your collection of sermons noted rabbis gave to their congregations on the High Holy Days following 9/11, th ther day that will live in infamy, was a blessed initiative. I read some of them and found them upliftimg and somewhat comforting, hatzi nehamah as we say in Hebrew. Todah rabbah for sharing wthem with us.