Pause for Pittsburgh – Remembering Tree of Life Synagogue Two Years Later

Stand for Israel  |  October 27, 2020

First Funerals Held For Victims Of Mass Shooting At Pittsburgh Synagogue
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 31: Mourners visit the memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 31, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eleven people were killed in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood on October 27. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Two years ago today, people of faith came together in solidarity when an anti-Semitic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh left eleven people dead and six more wounded. And today, The Jerusalem Post’s Tamar Beeri reports that people of faith around the world will again come together in memory of the all those affected:

Thousands of people around the world are stopping in place and taking a collective moment of remembrance as part of the Pause with Pittsburgh initiative, in honor of those who were killed in the vicious synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh one year ago to this day.

The attack on the Tree of Life Congregation on October 27, 2018, was the most deadly antisemitic attack in the history of the United States – 11 people were killed and seven were injured during the mass shooting, which occurred during the synagogue’s Shabbat services.

“Nothing can turn back time and erase what happened a year ago in Pittsburgh – but we as a society can choose to stand together, stronger, more determined and thus demonstrate our tremendous resilience,” said Eric Fingerhut, chairman of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

The moment of silence is being held at 5 p.m. EDT in the US…

And as we remember the lives lost and the many more changed, we also recall Rabbi Eckstein’s words in the wake of the attack:

I write from a deeply broken heart, grieving over the horrific massacre Saturday morning at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

My prayers, and those of our entire Fellowship family, go out to our Jewish brothers and sisters who came to worship God, and to attend what should have been the joyous bris (circumcision) ceremony of an eight-day-old baby boy, as the Bible instructs us to do (Leviticus 12:3).

But my message to you today is not only one of heartbreak, which I know you feel deeply as well. I also want to share with you what I believe is the lesson God is repeatedly trying to teach us, Jews and Christians alike, through tragedies like this. And what we, in The Fellowship, can and must do in response to this divine calling.

One of the first questions God asked in the Bible after Cain murdered Abel is, “Where is Abel your brother?”, to which Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

In light of Pittsburgh and God’s similar question of us today, our response should be a resounding, “Here I am. Send me.” as the prophet Isaiah answered to God’s call…

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