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Running rabbi recounts chaos, vows to run Boston Marathon again

The Jewish Exponent has a profile on Rabbi Benjamin David, religious leader of Adath Emanu-El in Mt. Laurel, N.J., and co-founder of Running Rabbis, who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. [[READMORE]]

“People were running toward the scene and away from the scene,” David said. “Police were scrambling. The hardest part is that no one knew what happened so you don’t know what to do. We thought maybe the grandstand had collapsed, or a building. I grabbed someone, and he said that two bombs went off.

“I went up to my room and to put on the news,” he said. “Isn’t that strange? Here I am, two blocks from the thing, and my instinct is still to turn on the TV to see what happened. But then, from the window in my room, I could see basically everything. So, the local news was on and there was confusion and speculation and I’m looking out the window and looking right at what is being called a terrorist attack.”…

He was also a few blocks from the Sept. 11 attacks in New York.

David knew what kind of wrong that was. He was in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, blocks away from the World Trade Center at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. “In my mind, I instantly compared it to when I was in New York on 9/11,” he said. “I mean, it was a different sound. But when the first plane hit the tower, it was a sound like a sound you don’t normally hear. That’s what this was today. A sound that you don’t normally hear and your brain says, ‘Is something wrong?’ Then today when we head the second bomb, like when there was the second plane on 9/11. Then we knew for sure that something was very wrong.

The interview concludes with a message about next year’s race:

“And one more thing: I will run the Boston Marathon next year,” David said. “Nothing will keep me from it.”

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