That Is What We Need: A Response to 9/11

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I was in Midtown Manhattan on 9/11 and when we finally realized what had happened and left our offices into the chaos of New York City, I eventually made my way to a pizzeria. With the little money that I had on me, I bought something to eat. It dawned on me that with the exits from Manhattan closed, I really had no place to go at that time. I asked the owner of the pizzeria whether he minded if he I stayed in the store for a few hours and learned from a sefer that I had with me. He answered, "That’s what we need!" So I sat there and learned for a while and then made my way uptown to Yeshiva University.

In the end, what other response can there be to tragedy of any magnitude than to pray, to study and to perform mitzvos?

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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