In Sadness and with love, in response to Pittsburgh

This Shabbat morning, when I heard the news of the killing of 11 Jews in prayer in Pittsburgh, my heart went cold. It felt unreal and so sad. I have lived here most of my adult life and I don’t remember such a heinous crime been perpetrated on Jews. What could be more evil than a murderous attack against people gathered in prayer. 

Today, yet again, White supremacy has produced more deadly violence. Last year, we prayed for the victims of a similar attack on African-Americans in Charleston. That winter, one Friday, I linked with others in a human chain surrounding the mosque in Bridgeview. Threats had been made against the mosque; we were there outside so the Muslims inside could pray with a calm mind.

As I wrote in yesterday’s TWAMS, words can become deadly. It is unconscionable that violence against political foes or people of any kind is validated - and glorified - by our nation’s leaders.

At our Shabbat service this coming Friday, we will gather in peace and in defiance of anti-Semitic, White supremacist, violence and hatred.

We are a peaceful people. We are a strong people. We will pray together and support each other. Our hearts go out to the grieving families, the Tree of Life congregations and the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community.

If you would like to talk with me in the meantime, you are welcome to call me at 847-529-3572.

With prayers for the healing of those still fighting for their lives and the wounded police officers who bravely stepped in to spare more lives.

With love and in mourning,

Reb Michael