Shabbat, Saturday, Oct. 27, a day that should be filled with peace and rest, was instead marred by hatred, bloodshed and murder. We are still reeling from the shock of what transpired at the Synagogue complex In Pittsburgh. The scale of devastation and death is traumatizing.
The fact that a building that is supposed to be a safe sanctuary was instead turned into a place of such gruesome violence is almost beyond comprehension. We now live with a national tragedy where celebrations of life will now be forever remembered as days of destruction.
While this affects all of us on a global and national scale, in this area it is a tragic reminder of the shooting at the North Valley JCC, just a few miles from where most of live. In August of 1999, a white supremacist opened fire on adults, and primarily children. The brutal attack was immediately followed with the murder of U.S. postal employee Joseph Ileto.
While we are all now filled with many strong emotions, the first action we take is heal the wounds and comfort the mourners of those in the Squirrel Hill community. As a nation we affirm that hatred has no place in this special land that has welcomed people from all backgrounds. There will be a time for justice, there will be ongoing discussions addressing the underlying issues for how and why this happened and how we can prevent it from happening again.
This weekend, we send prayers of love and a message of condolence and support. The students at Temple Beth Ami religious school will be creating cards and messages of comfort for the groups that meet at the Pittsburgh synagogue. We have been coordinating security on an ongoing basis with the Santa Clarita Sherrifs station as well as federal law enforcement agencies.
Oseh shalom bi-mromav hu ya-aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael.
May the One who causes peace to reign in the high heavens, help us do better in creating peace in our world.