Prayers by a Rabbi Help Thwart Jump From Trade Center

September 2, 1975 ·

A distraught Newark man, threatening for four and a half hours to jump from the 110‐story south tower of the World Trade Center, was dissuaded last night by a Manhattan rabbi who prayed with the man in Hebrew and English.

“I’ve never done anything like that before, and I never want to again,” said, Rabbi Israel Gombo of his successful 90‐minute appeal to 33‐year‐old James Speller. “The tension was extreme; it was cold, with the wind howling and all the helicopters flying above us.”

“It was really an act of God,” Rabbi Gombo said.

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