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Ten years ago this week, Muslim terrorists rained death and destruction of unparalleled magnitude on an unsuspecting America at New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington. And while so many first-responders gave their lives in their attempts to save others, one group witnessed a succession of open miracles — and no losses. A decade later, Hatzolah leaders relive the Divine Providence of that horrifying day, which they didn’t believe they’d survive.
Avremel Zelmanowitz was a quiet, mild-mannered man, content in his role as beloved brother and uncle. He attracted little notice as a programmer, and his fundamental goodness was not recognized beyond his immediate circles. Until he found himself alone with a colleague in a burning building. And then, as the building came crashing down, his loyalty and consummate kindness created an explosion of kiddush Hashem so powerful it fell out of the lips of presidents and ricocheted many times around the globe.
President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats are anxiously awaiting the decisions of a few thousand Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and Queens in next Tuesday’s special election — between Democrat and Orthodox Jew David Weprin and Republican and Catholic Bob Turner — that some have labeled a referendum on the Obama administration.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Professor Barry Rubin rates the international actors in the global theater of the War on Terror and looks ahead at the next decade.
What happened to the dozens of Jewish widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center attack without living witnesses? Would they be forced into the devastating category of agunah? Or would the beis din be able to meet the necessary standard of evidence required by halachah to permit them to remarry?