return to Home page  SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
When Kaddish was said a second time
 
Mount Olive Cemetery in Solon Ohio, southeast of Cleveland  
photo taken late on a September morning in 2011 by Arnold Berger
 

Dr. Edna Raphael, a member of the Reconstructionist Havurah of Cleveland - now Kol Ha Lev (Voice of the Heart) - died on September 8, 2001. Her funeral service was held September 11, beginning at 9 am. It was not yet a time of smart phones and instant news, but by the time mourners left the funeral home they had heard about the World Trade Center attacks and could learn more on their car radios on the long drive to the Mount Olive Cemetery.

It was before 11 am when the service of burial, led by Rabbi Steve Segar, ended with recitation of the Mourner's Prayer - the Kaddish - the ancient prayer for the dead. Its final line (in English) concludes:

May the One who creates harmony above, make peace for us and for all Israel, and for all who dwell on earth.

Then a man from the funeral home who was standing near the rabbi suggested that Kaddish be said again, for those who had lost their lives that morning. Rabbi Steve led the group in a second Kaddish, just two hours after the attack.

I remember the mixed feelings of sadness, devotion to faith and country, and fear as I looked into the cloudy skies and prayed for those who died on what we now call 9/11.

That was nearly 17 years ago. Rabbi Steve Segar recently marked his 18th year of service to Kol Ha Lev. This page of recollections of the terrible day when we said Kaddish twice is my Chai gift to him.

Arnold Berger, editor 
May 15, 2018

 

Rabbi Steve Segar remembers

On the morning of September 11, 2001 I got up early to finish writing my eulogy for Edna Raphael, an amazing older member of our Havurah, who had a background as an academic sociologist and more recently had developed into quite an artist.

This was to be my first official funeral of my rabbinic career, and I was trying to keep calm as I anticipated arriving at the funeral home in time for the 9:00 am ceremony. I knew it would only take me about 10 minutes to drive there from my house, but I left early, around 8:30 am, to make sure that I would have the chance to touch base with the family before the funeral proper was to begin.  I made the conscious choice not to turn on the radio as I so often reflexively did, so that I could allow myself to enter into what felt like the proper state of mind for this kind of life cycle event.  Unbeknownst to me as I was driving to the funeral home, the first plane slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

 

When I arrived at the funeral home the staff quickly whisked me into a back room where they had a small television turned on and said with some urgency, “You’ve got to see this.” As I turned my eyes to the screen, the reporter was in the midst of describing the scene, and showing a replay of the plane going into the north tower, but in the middle of that description, they cut back to live coverage, and I, along with several staff members watched in real time as the second plane found its target in the south tower.

At that moment, none of us truly understood yet what was taking place, but there was a clear sense that our country was under attack. And then, it was time to begin the funeral. I made the decision not to say anything about what I had just witnessed as I walked into the chapel and took out the outline and my eulogy. 

 

Cleveland Jewish News September 14, 2001

EDNA RAPHAEL - A remarkable woman
 
A Detroit native, the oldest of three children, her father a tool-and-die-maker, Edna earned her BA at Wayne State University, a Masters degree at Northwestern, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She served in the Second World War as a WAVE (Womens Naval Reserve). Edna's career was devoted to teaching and research as a professor of Sociology and Labor Relations at Pennsylvania State University.

Edna served in the Second World War
as a WAVE (Womens Naval Reserve)

Edna in her mid-80s when she lived in Cleveland
near her niece and nephew and their families.


On May 15, 2018 Dr. Edna Raphael's sister Alva Raphael Dworkin and her niece
Dr. Debbie Dworkin Ross shared the above information and photos. Thank you.

 

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