Response To Tree of Life Synagogue Tragedy
Response to Tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh from Rabbi Nancy
Like you I am heartbroken and enraged.
Like you I am searching for how to breath in this unleashed air of hatred and fear. The toxic acts of hate that take place weekly within our country has created a fog so dense we can barely see.
Reports are calling this the worst single attack on American Jews in the history of this country and it follows a slew of hate crimes and anti-Semitic incidents over the past several years targeting Jewish communities.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This past Sunday our children in religious school made cards of solidarity and tenderness to the members of Tree of Life. Rabbi Reuven Taff and I held an assembly where we invited the children to tell us first, what they had heard and secondly, what they were feeling. With counselors in the Sanctuary we made it clear that we were one family, and that our family extended from Sacramento to Pittsburgh.
While this unspeakable tragedy has shocked us, it is also an opportunity to remind ourselves of our non-Jewish friends who hold the same values we hold dear. The many, many messages of solidarity from our interfaith community affirms that we are not alone.
Elie Wiesel said, “There may be times when are powerless to prevent injustice but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” We call upon our representatives to demand that our leadership recognize that slaughter of innocent people will never be acceptable. We call upon all adults to vote in the mid term elections. The poisoned fog in which we are living must never be accepted as normal. To prevent complacency our voices must be heard.
Join me and the Jewish community and our many loyal friends of the non-Jewish community to mourn and to reaffirm our commitment to solidarity and sanity. Our memorial service will take place at Congregation B’nai Israel 7:00 p.m.
Even in our brokenness, ‘May our hearts be strong and filled with courage.” (Psalm 31:25)
Rabbi Nancy Wechsler
Congregation Beth Shalom
Remarks by Congresswoman Doris Matsui At the Community Wide Memorial Service Held On October 29th.