Sunday, September 11, 2016

A sermon and an essay on the events of September 11, 2001.

I found it very difficult to choose a picture for this blog entry. How do you choose something meaningful without being exploitative or pornographic? I settled on this one. I don't know who the photographer is. 

In honor of the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, I thought, rather than write new comments, I would offer links to two pieces I wrote that sum up many of my complicated feelings about the event. I'm a New Yorker born and bred, and many people I know were personally affected by the tragedy. My high school has a plaque commemorating 12 students who died. I can't count the number of friends who witnessed the violence first hand. Yet, the event will always be a tangled web or reflection, analyses, and critique for me. I'm a philosopher. That's how I think about stuff.

Click on the title to download a free PDF of each essay.

 "A Jewish New Yorker's Reflection on the Terrorist Acts in New York " 

This was a guest sermon I gave during Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year, on September 17, 2001, six days after the attack. It was delivered at B'nai Israel Synagogue, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, six weeks after I moved to town. 

Aliens, Traitors and Elitists: University Values and the Faculty 

This is an essay focusing on how difficult it was to be a teacher after the attack. It explores why so many people didn't want to intellectually examine the event from an intellectual perspective. It has lots of cultural analysis, and draws from science fiction, the Rocky movies, and Good Will Hunting, among other things. It was originally published in the National Education Association journal, Though & Action. 

Feel free to comment below and to share these essays. Just please, as always, keep the author information intact.

Follow the author on Twitter: @jackrweinstein

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