Contending with Catastrophe: Jewish Perspectives on September 11th
The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 shook the world, permanently changing the lives of millions of people. Jews are sadly familiar with vicious terrorist attacks yet we continue to be moved by the horror of modern warfare. Over the past decade, in the wake of 9/11, the Jewish community has looked to its tradition for guidance on how to react to these horrific attacks, both intellectually and in practice. Contending with Catastrophe: Jewish Perspectives on September 11th has two parts which reflect these two aspects of the Jewish tradition. The first section is about Jewish law, and it responds to a particular tragedy in a particular area of family law - the problem of the many individuals who went missing in light of this tragedy. This part of the book focuses on technical matters of Halakhah that are both timeless and timely - timeless in the principles that they articulate and timely in the application of those principles to the world in which we actually live. Each of the essays in this section provides us with an accumulated picture of how the Beth Din of America addressed the many cases that came to it involving people who went missing on that day. The second half of Contending with Catastrophe: Jewish Perspectives on September 11th addresses matters of Jewish ethics and theology. In short, how should we, as a community and as individuals, respond to the presence of evil or the occurrence of tragic events? Fittingly, Contending with Catastrophe: Jewish Perspectives on September 11th concludes with a memorial prayer commemorating the victims of 9/11 and a prayer for the full recovery and heroic recognition of the first responders and emergency workers who bravely entered the burning towers of the World Trade Center. The final prayer is for the safety of the United States Armed Forces around the world.
K'hal Pub. in cooperation with Beth Din of America
Law and Religion, Judaism