I am feeling so devastated at the terror attack in Pittsburgh, PA this morning.
At the end of services in our synagogue, one of the community leaders got up at the podium in front of the Aron Hakodesh to announce the attack underway just over 200 miles north from us.
The shock and fear swept, like a searing blaze of fire, through the congregation.
It’s not like these things don’t happen to Jews around the world all the time and throughout history.
Don’t we know and remember just 70 years since the genocide of the six million holy souls of our people in the Holocaust?
But this was so close to home and in a “melting pot” of diversity and freedom in the United States of America.
We like to think we are safe, but at this moment again in time, the vulnerableness of us all was palatable.
Sure, we hear about terror attacks from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah in the Holy Land of Israel, the front lines in the fight against terrorism and tyranny.
But here on the East Coast of the U.S., the land of freedom and democracy for all?
Yes, no where is safe. There are anti-Semites and racists who will never stop hating!
This crazed anti-Semite managed to kill at least 8 people, including a police officer in of all synagogues, the one named, “The Tree of Life Synagogue.”
No, this is certainly not the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden–this murderous scene was certainly no Eden!
On this Shabbat there is not life in that holy house of worship, but another familiar Jewish massacre from a gunman screaming, “All the Jews need to die!”
But why the Jews, what have we done to anyone?
This bloody raving lunatic thought we, the Jews, are in control of President, the country, and of course, are to blame for all its problems–as usual, the Jews are the ever-convenient and all-purpose scapegoat.
But who are we–men, women, and children that just want to live our lives with respect and dignity, to worship the L-rd in freedom, to take care of our dear families and communities, to contribute in every way to the good of society.
Why do they keep coming to hate on us and to kill us?
On this Shabbat, let us all gather around the Tree of Life, to once again dedicate ourselves: to Hashem, to life and liberty, to our families and friends, and to a real and complete tolerance of all, and to fixing the broken world that is ours.
(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)