September 11th is a day on the calendar, and no different than the other 364 days. It’s a bad day for America, but not the worst day in history. Jews have a holiday dedicated to a terrible day on the calendar, the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av. It’s the day when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed in 586 BC. It’s also the day when Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and the day when they were expelled from Spain in 1492. And, in 70 A.D., the Romans destroyed the Second Temple (Herod’s Temple). That’s a bad day. Over half a million Jews died on the 9th of Av over the centuries.
September 11th is a bad day for America. It’s a day when the symbol of our financial prestige, world influence and military power were attacked. For me, it’s a bad day personally. In 2008, I was at a Wal-Mart in Bradenton, Florida picking out a black pair of trousers to wear to my mother’s funeral. At exactly 8:03am, there was a moment of silence. The registers stopped. Everything stopped. I was alone in my grief, but strangely sharing it with everyone else. 9/11 is a bad day for me.
I do not fear 9/11. I am making one outward change to my life on 9/11 this year. I am in Cleveland, Ohio for a conference, and it ends on 9/10. I normally would have stayed overnight and flown home the next day. But I won’t. I won’t fly on 9/11.
It’s not because of superstition. Or fear. It’s simple caution. I can’t tell you that something will happen on 9/11 this year. I can tell you this: they will try.
Although they will try, I will not fear. I have a friend who watches out for me, and he doesn’t ever stop protecting my interests. He said so in this poem his friend King David wrote a few thousand years ago.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.