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Thought for the Day: Never Forget

Today is September 11, 2011 CE.  It is ten years since the World Trade Center (the Twin Towers) was destroyed by a terrorist attack.  The news is full of retrospectives, memorials, commentaries and what not; all with a single theme: We shall never forget.  The names of those who lost their lives that day (all 2,983) were all read.  The children who were born that year to women who had lost their husbands were assembled.  Speeches, songs, and just generally coming together to remember how all of use from very different backgrounds became a unit: the "we" that was attacked.  The "we" that now take our shoes off before getting on a plane.  The "we" who no longer takes safety from foreign attack for granted.

America is struggling to define and create customs and ceremonies to keep the memory alive and transmit the message to future generations.  It is obviously important; no one questions that.  No one is bored, and many are crying.

We should remember this at the Pesach seder.  We are commemorating much more than a single attack.  "In every generation nations arise to destroy us", says the ba'al hagada.  But even more than the quantitative difference, there is the qualitative difference: we were also saved and brought out of slavery by HaShem Himself.  We were also given a purpose and meaning to our lives by Author of reality Himself.  "Ein puranios ba l'olam ele bishvil Yisrael" -- no tragedy comes to the world except for our sake.  We are used to understanding that in a negative way, but we can also take a very positive message away.  We can use the feelings inspired by today's memorials to make our our seder more vibrant and compelling for ourselves and our children.

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