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October 10, 2015 | 27th Tishrei 5776


The prayers and readings on this Web site have been compiled by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism for use in congregational worship and interfaith assemblies. Please adapt them as appropriate. Please e-mail us and tell us how you commemorated the day and used this material.

"When does 9/11 fall this year?" is a question many of us have already heard and, in hearing it, we cannot help but pause. Indeed, like July Fourth or January First, 9/11 is a date that will now rise from the calendar's page. And yet, even with the passing of a year, it remains a date entirely unlike any other. To hear those numbers is to be reminded, in an instant, of where we were, of what we were doing, of the way we felt when two towers fell, a plane crashed in Pennsylvania, and the pictures aired of the Pentagon burning.

With the beginning of 5763 we reflect upon the year that was and the year that will be - where we have been as well as where we hope to be when the High Holy Days arrive again. In a year in which so many lost their lives, we again find ourselves before the Book of Life, and pray for the families worldwide with empty chairs around the dinner table, the empty seats in the sanctuary, empty bedrooms, and heavy hearts.

As a people we seem to have become experts in the field of memory. An entire portion of our Yom Kippur liturgy is devoted to just that: Yizkor. Remembering those no longer with us. This 9/11, which occurs during our Days of Awe, is both memory and memorial - memorial for a New York skyline, the thousands of lives lost, the relatives now gone, and the security so many of us felt when we went to bed on the tenth of September. This 9/11, this Day of Awe, we remember, and we pray together for a peaceful 5763.

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