Rabbi Levine on Pittsburgh
Oct 28 , 2018/Category

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We join together with the entire Jewish community and caring people around the world in mourning the deaths and injuries perpetrated by a hate-filled assailant intent on killing Jews. It is so appalling that at a shule observing Shabbat Service and involved in a covenant ceremony celebrating new life this man was busy destroying people and shattering families. Our hearts break for them as we feel immense gratitude for the police officers who risked their own lives to help others and limit the bloodshed.

It is vital not only to condemn anti-Semitism as strongly as we can, but also to say that prejudice of every kind, thoughtless remarks and deeds that cause great pain will not be tolerated. Moreover, the killer blamed the Jews for the caravan moving north. Jews, in fact, have nothing to do with this migration, but we should care about people wanting to undertake a perilous voyage because they don’t want their child killed by a gang in Honduras or Guatamala. During the Nazi reign of terror Jews begged the world for even a modicum of compassion and found very little. Loving the stranger is commanded in the Torah no fewer than 36 times. Please note that the perpetuator attacked HIAS at the same moment we are proudly working with HIAS to resettle Pakistani refugees in America.

In this week’s Torah portion, Chaya Sarah, Abraham comes to mourn for his beloved wife Sarah, to weep for her and to rise up. Torah here teaches what we need to do in our grief.

Let us mourn for the dead and injured in this senseless tragedy.

Let us weep in distress for the divisiveness and bigotry that undermines the greatness of America.

Let us rise up to teach our children how to live compassionate lives informed by vital Jewish values.

May we always be Rodeph Sholom, pursuers of peace.

Robert N. Levine
Senior Rabbi

This is an image of Stars of Hope that were made this morning at Mitzvah Day and are headed to Pittsburgh.