Tears for Pittsburg

By now funeral services have been held, the dead buried, vigils and memorials held. The brutal anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg is a stark reminder that anger, hatred, and violence is not something that is far away. One man’s actions have now left 11 people dead and a community reeling. We’ve learned something about the perpetrator, and the points of commonality that he shares with two other events earlier that same week. It is a dark time where we are reminded that violent rhetoric leads to violent acts.

Last night the Calgary Jewish Federation held a vigil at Beth Tzedec that was attended by people from all walks of life. Their statement I repeat here:

“Together we mourn the murder of Jews, murdered simply for being Jews…this hateful and senseless act has taken lives of innocent congregants and injured others, including members of the local Pittsburgh law enforcement community. Though thousands of miles away, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters at The Tree of Life Congregation, in both sadness and resolve. Our community will remain strong in the face of such hateful acts.”

I echo the voice of St. Matthew’s in this post, and that any act of violence spawned from anger and hatred has no place in God’s commonwealth, and in our society. We must take a careful look at ourselves, and to transform ourselves to be messengers and agents of peace. I am heartbroken by these events, and yet it is my prayer that live out the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, that we may sow love where there is hatred, to bring healing to where there is injury.

Yours in Christ,