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Israel honours the victims of 9/11

On a quiet hill in the Azarim Valley in Ramot, Jerusalem, a memorial honours those who perished in the 9/11 Twin Towers terror attacks in New York that claimed almost 3 000 American lives.

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Rolene Marks – Rolene Marks is a passionate Israel advocate, writer and blogger.

Known as the “Living Memorial to the victims of 9/11” this nine metre-tall cenotaph, shaped like a waving American flag that morphs into a flame, is the only monument to those who died that exists outside of the US. 

The names of all who perished on that tragic day are inscribed, including those of five Israelis; a piece of melted metal from the ruins of the Twin Towers forms part of the base on which the cenotaph stands.

The cenotaph was designed by award-winning artist Eliezer Weishoff and was commissioned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF/KKL). It bears solemn witness to a day that changed the world and brought the threat of international terror into everyone’s collective conscience. It was a day that will forever live in infamy.

911

Israel commemorates 9/11 every year with a ceremony at the memorial. This year was particularly poignant, marking 15 years.

Israelis understand terror all too well. We have endured being the targets of terrorists ever since the modern state was formed. The United States is our greatest ally and apart from sharing the many mutual values that are the hallmarks of our democracies, we also share a common sense of grief for the victims of the worst terror attack in modern history.

We understand that in a short moment in time lives can be lost, our loved ones ripped from the bosoms of their families, our sense of safety and security that we take for granted, completely altered. Reality as we know it can be changed forever in the blink of an eye.

We understand the pervasive sense of fear and worry. We understand the painful sacrifice that is needed when we have to send our sons and daughters into battle.

The first victim of 9/11 was Israeli. Daniel Lewin z”l, made aliyah as a teen and served in Israel’s special forces. An outstanding student who excelled at university, both at MIT and Haifa Technion, Lewin went on to co-found hi-tech giant Akamai, which helped revolutionise the way that we connect to the Internet.  He was described by his friend Micah as having the potential to be a future prime minister. He is but one story out of nearly 3 000.

The United and Israel are two nations united in grief. But grief does not define who we are. While we pause to reflect and remember, we also take the time to celebrate those we lost.

The mastermind of the attacks, arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden, once told a journalist that the fundamental difference between us and them was that they welcome death and that we value life above all.

This is perhaps the only statement that one could ever agree to with a terror mastermind. We may have been bowed but never broken. We will honour their lives by our continued daily efforts to be living memorials.

May the memories of all who perished on September 11, 2001 be blessed.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. nat cheiman

    Sep 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    ‘No arab or muslim country has a memorial honouring 9/11 victims. There main focus is the hatred of Israel ‘

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SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist

The SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist, who is passionate about and hungry for news and who writes both news and features beautifully.

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The applicant must to be tech savvy, comfortable online, on social media and in a newsroom. The applicant must have at least five years’ experience as a journalist and a relevant degree. Please forward your CV and an introductory letter to the editor, Peta Krost Maunder on editor@sajewishreport.co.za.  

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Apologies

On the wrong page at the wrong time

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The SA Jewish Report wishes to apologise to Dr Yossi Unterslak, a specialist gynaecologist and reproductive medicine assistant at Vitalab, whose face and title was in an advert on the page three of our Rosh Hashanah edition this week. The advert just happened to be on the same page as “Johannesburg doctor guilty of unprofessional conduct”. I wish to place it on record that Dr Unterslak was on that page advertising his participation in Torah Talks and has absolutely nothing to do with the story about the doctor on the page.  The SA Jewish Report apologises to Dr Unterslak for any harm or unpleasantness that derived from the advert being on this page.  – Editor

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Jewish Guild Orchestra reaches out through sweet sound of music

A musical tour around the world was presented to residents of Golden Acres, Sandringham Gardens and members of Second Innings last Sunday by the Jewish Guild Orchestra.

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MARGOT COHEN

Jewis Guild Orchestra

Professor Brian Buch who conducts the orchestra and is also its musical director, had his appreciative audience clamouring for more. The Jewish Guild Orchestra, although founded in 1944, has still been able to retain its fresh sound. It okays a wide range of light classical pieces and its repertoire last Sunday ranged from the operetta Gypsy Baron by Johan Strauss to the all-time Neapolitan favourite, O Sole Mio.

Expenses of the orchestra are met by its 35 members themselves; they derive no income from its activities. The orchestra was named after its original sponsor, the Johannesburg Jewish Guild which no longer exists. Its founder was the late Dr Solly Aronowsky who served as musical director for 46 years. Its current leader is Dr Bernard Caplan.

The orchestra provides support for amateur musicians, irrespective of race or religion, to develop their skills to perform in public and to enhance their appreciation of music. It also plays to audiences who would not otherwise have access to light classical music, such as residents of old aged homes, the Red Cross, Hospice and the Cancer Association.

“One of our objectives is to provide performances through which we are able to assist various charities or to promote music appreciation among scholars,” says Buch.

“We welcome new players,” says Buch. “We need female vocalists, string and brass players. We need players who are at grade 6 level.”

* For further information, contact Dr Buch on (012) 348-8653 or 071-633-0869

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