Rachel Loeser

Rachel Loeser


Prayer is something that is very personal for me.  It is where I can voice opinions, ask for guidance and discuss my problems.  It is a way to reach out to God for answers while not being judged.  I may not get answers but it always feels good to get things off my mind.  Overall, prayer gives me a peaceful sense of well-being.

What Does Confirmation Mean to Me?   The reason I expanded my Jewish studies and went on with Hebrew high school is a completely different reason than people may perceive it to be.  Judaism has a huge impact on who I am today and who I will be in the future.  Being confirmed is a choice I made but being confirmed is the start of my future.  I am here today because I care.  I care about my morals and values. I have learned not only from my teachers but from my peers.


My hope for the future is world peace.  I can only hope that we can live in a world without war and terrorism. I was only two years old when the Twin Towers collapsed from a terrorist attack. I was not aware what was going on around me at the time because I was too young. However, after these several years, I am still curious about that horrible day — 9/11.  I am always eager to hear stories –whether from my parents or people that I have met who lived through it.

Over the summer, my mother and I were going into the city for a weekend. My mother told me that she would take me anywhere I wanted to go. She assumed I would suggest Madame Tussauds wax museum or shopping in SoHo. I told her that I only wanted to visit the 9/11 Memorial.  I believe she was shocked when I insisted on visiting the museum.  It turned out to be a very emotional time listening to the tapings of people’s last voice messages to their spouses. I saw all of the different news broadcasts from all over the world giving their account of the incident.  It was a very eerie and solemn feeling being inside the memorial. I’m glad I got to go, but it was not a pleasant experience.

The world has changed since the day of the terror attack. I still have a thirst for information about 9/11. In fact, my parent’s friend tragically lost her husband in the attack since he worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. His funeral service was held the same day as his newborn son’s baptism. Recently, I happened to be in temple with my mother and started talking to a man sitting next to us.  He was telling my mom and me about how he made it out alive from the World Trade Center. At the time, he worked as an engineer for The Port Authority and witnessed the plane coming toward the Tower he was in. He managed to make it down the stairs and out the building but not without passing so many bodies of people who had jumped to their death.  His account of that day gave me chills, but I am glad I met him and heard his story.

The idea of terrorism tortures me. An attack can happen anywhere and at any time.  I don’t want to worry that something may happen while I’m on an airplane, at a sporting event, or at a tourist attraction. With the Boston Marathon bombing last year, I have seen so many people in the news who had lost their limbs and are trying to resume a normal life. Recently, there was a terror attack at a kosher grocery store in Paris where five people lost their lives. Also in Paris, there was an attack at the Charlie Hebdo office where 12 employees were killed. Every day in the news, there is another incident of an attack that has been exposed or carried out.  I can’t fathom how so many innocent people’s lives can be torn apart in minutes by Al-Qaeda or other militant groups.

My dream is to live in a world where we can work out our problems peacefully without hurting innocent people.