Standing at the foot of the World Trade Center Towers were 150 Hatzoloh volunteers, dedicated religious Jews ready to give assistance in any emergency situation. They had speedily responded to the call on their beepers and driven in with their ambulances from twelve different surrounding counties. Before the first tower collapsed, they were pelted with falling debris of concrete from the 90th floor and up. In horror they helplessly watched many people jumping out of the windows (from the 90th floor and up) some of them holding hands in their fall, and crashing to the ground.
Then there was this horrific, deafening, terrifying sound, a tremendous long lasting roar, getting louder and louder and the gigantic mammoth structure of the South Tower came crashing down to the ground, disintegrating with the explosion of tens of thousands of walls, windows, and steel I beams weighing tons. The ground shook beneath their feet as in an earthquake. They found themselves engulfed in windblasts of concrete and pulverized dust. Choking, coughing and gasping for air, they were soon half buried in
that dust. Twenty minutes later another roaring sound split the atmosphere, again the earth shook and trembled as the gigantic North Tower collapsed, and again the volunteers sought to survive through that unspeakable chaos of exploding materials.
Yet, all this didn’t prevent the volunteers from taking action. As soon as they were able to breathe again and emerge from beneath the debris, they went to assist and give first aid to the thousands of screaming and crying bewildered people who had somehow escaped from the Towers before they had collapsed. They kept on assisting with first aid and loving care until the last person was safe or able to climb into an ambulance or into the ferryboats that had been sent from across the Hudson River.
One most extraordinary thing: At the end of this time of chaotic destruction, after the last bewildered and traumatized victim had been attended to and sent to a hospital or taken home, the Hatzalah volunteers searched for each other. They were fearing their companions were missing, buried somewhere under those huge piles of dust and debris that looked like a nuclear bomb had struck. To their amazement they found at the end that none of them were missing! Some had slight injuries but every one of them had experienced the miracle of being protected in
some way or another throughout this horrific nightmare!
These were men of committed, selfless service and prayer. They had been praying all along, ever since they heard the warning signals received on their emergency beeper calling them to action.
A moving and edifying book was subsequently published about these volunteers called: ‘Even in the Darkest Moments’ by Zeév Breier.
From the book: Masters and Miracles – By Liliane Ritchie