Last Saturday was a difficult day for us as Jews. Eleven people were killed as they worshipped, in peaceful prayer in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. It didn’t fully register with me at first. I spoke of it with a friend while attending a Memorial service for another friend whose husband had died. We spoke briefly, and then turned out thoughts and attention to the beautiful service, as it should be.
As the weekend went on, I realized what had actually happened. It was a hate crime. No doubt. The man who committed the crime was upset because the synagogue had helped refugees, and he thought that was a reason that the Jews inside should die.
This hit me like a ton of bricks. First, I mourned, and am still mourning. Then, I thought, wow, I don’t feel so safe in my own country anymore. It isn’t a good feeling.
On Monday night, there was a beautiful service led by our rabbis, who are always our strength in difficult times. The outpouring of love was extraordinary, with clergy from various denominations participating, and speaking. I saw many people from different walks of my life, who came to show support and solidarity. Many aren’t Jewish. I am immensely grateful to them, as well as to my cousin Linda, who expressed concern, as well as a dear friend who wrote to me. She offered her prayers. One of the most touching things that happened was the that our temple had messages of love written by members of the First Presbytarian Church which were on our temple door when the rabbis arrived in the morning. There are pictures of these messages above. Messages of love.
What can I do with this helpless feeling? I can show kindness. I can help others. I can continue to tutor an immigrant to learn the English language. I can continue to be grateful for this beautiful place I live in, and be grateful for so many amazing people in my life. I can be grateful for my family. I can show love. I can be love.