In this time of existential uncertainty, it's often difficult to trust that the Divine has placed us exactly where we are meant to be. On September 10, 2001, I arrived in Paris for a holiday with one of my dearest friends. I awoke on 9/11 with a sense of foreboding and anxiety, which was unusual in one of my most favorite cities in the world. Sharing this with my friend who felt a similar sense of uneasiness, we decided to distract ourselves by window shopping. But after twenty minutes of aimless gazing, we realized we needed to ground our energy. What called us was the chapel Notre-Dame de la Medaille dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. As we sat and prayed and meditated, the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
I desperately wanted to go home, but it was impossible. As the Jewish New Year approached, I searched for a synagogue. I longed to connect with anything familiar. But the American embassy advised all U.S. citizens to stay away from all public gatherings.