Last week World Trade Center victim R' Avrohom (Abe)
Zelmanowitz Hy'd was brought to rest in Jerusalem,
shortly after his remains were identified by forensic
R' Zelmanowitz, 55, who was an active member of the chareidi
community of Brooklyn, worked as a computer programmer on the
27th floor of one of the Twin Towers. When they came crashing
down last September 11th, he stayed in the office after the
planes rammed into the buildings, in order to help paralyzed
co-worker Ed Beyea. When Beyea's nurse rushed to assist him
to evacuate, R' Zelmanowitz told her to leave the smoke-
filled building immediately, promising he would remain with
his wheelchair-bound friend until help arrived. The two were
classified as missing for many long months.
Although R' Zelmanowitz was on a relatively low floor and
could have fled to safety, he refused to abandon his non-
Jewish colleague, ignoring entreaties by his family,
firefighters and policemen speaking to him by cell phone.
Zelmanowitz' heroic effort to save his co-worker turned into
a great kiddush Hashem in the U.S. when the story
received wide media coverage. President George Bush even
chose to mention his valiant act during a ceremony held for
the victims of the disaster. Four days after the tragedy, the
American president asked the American people to remember the
extraordinary behavior of the Orthodox Jewish computer expert
who had worked at an insurance agency on the 27th story of
one of the towers.
Recently his family received a letter from an observant
Jewish co-worker who survived the attack. "I just wanted you
to know," he wrote, "that Abe often did this kind of
chesed. He was an example to all of us of how a Jewish
ben Torah relates to his fellow man."
Like most of the victims of the World Trade Center disaster,
R' Zelmanowitz' body was not found until recently. When New
York Health Services representatives notified family members
the DNA test was positive, they decided to bring the body to
Eretz Yisroel as stipulated in the will and to bury it on Har
Hazeisim in Jerusalem next to his parents' graves, in the
plot that he bought for himself some two years ago. Both of
his parents were originally from Yerushalayim.
The levaya left from the Rozhin yeshiva in