Eric Yoffie, Washington Post, Sep.10, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/after-sept-11-four-tasks-for-religion/2011/09/10/gIQA9h4kHK_blog.html
Ten years ago this weekend, a terror attack changed the world and changed America forever. It left Americans frightened and dismayed, and filled American hearts with bewilderment and enduring rage.
We stand here today as representatives of America’s great religious traditions. What has been our role in healing our nation?
I suggest that we have had, and still have, four major tasks.
Our first task is to help America remember the victims and to offer their families comfort and healing. Our second task is to educate about the meaning of 9/11. Our third task is to resist with all of our might the view that the extremist fringe that carried out and supported this violent act is the voice of Islam in America or in the world. And our fourth and final task is to offer hope, and faith.
So I end with the hope – that is our common hope – that Muslims, Jews, and Christians will not permit fanaticism to grow or prejudice to harden; that as the sacred day of 9/11 approaches, we will honor the memory of those who died by teaching our children to honor life; and that here, in America, as seekers of God and children of Abraham, we will refuse to grant a victory to those who work to divide us; that here in America, we will reclaim our common heritage and find a common path.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie is president of the Union for Reform Judaism.