We were shocked and saddened over the weekend to learn of another awful act of terrorism at home: the murder of 11 members of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, by a man who openly expressed vile, anti-Semitic views. Among the victims was a 97-year old woman who had survived the Holocaust. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, to the families of the security officers who were wounded while rushing to save further lives, and to all Jewish families who are fearful that this nightmare could one day come to be part of their lives, too. All of us must stand with them.
We feel outrage, too. Outrage that hate has been stirred up to target violence towards the vulnerable on a level not seen in our country in recent times. Outrage that these shootings continue to happen week after week, with nothing being done to try and prevent the violence from continuing to spiral. Outrage that another hate-filled American attempted to murder more than 10 leaders who have spoken out against the tide of hate and division that seems to be sweeping across our country. We are outraged, and we cannot allow ourselves to become numb to it.
If we are ever going to help heal our country, we must all do our part. We must do all in our power to bring about a day when the disciples of hate, fear, and bigotry are no longer enabled to inflict harm on innocent victims. We must not only speak of justice but do all in our power to promote it, including promoting love and acceptance withing our community. To do all this is to be a part of a long, hard struggle, but the alternative – to do nothing – is unacceptable. We all can and must join the struggle.