Sunday night, I attended a vigil at Beth Am Synagogue in Los Altos, California, for the 11 Pittsburghers who have been shot and killed at Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday. It appeared like each religion was represented on the occasion, and there was solidarity among the many lots of of people that attended.
It is not sufficient, although. I am performed with “ideas and prayers” within the wake of such tragedy.
I grew up in Squirrel Hill, the Pittsburgh neighborhood the place the synagogue capturing occurred. I went to a Jewish elementary faculty, a majority black center faculty, and a highschool that was one thing in between, reflecting the range of our heat, inclusive, American group. I celebrated bar and bat mitzvahs at Tree of Life after I was a child. I performed pick-up basketball just a few blocks away on Saturday afternoons. I by no means skilled anti-Semitism till I went away to school. Pittsburgh is not excellent, but it surely has a personality that folks need to be part of, even after they transfer away.
Tree of Life was like every other synagogue, church, mosque, temple or shrine in our nation — it was a spot the place individuals practiced their religion and drew power and luxury from celebrating tradition, historical past, and ritual collectively. The person who killed 11 People as they prayed was the one who was misplaced. Not us.
His hate crime is treason in opposition to our nation’s character. We aren’t dwelling in 1939 Poland or 1948 Iraq, the place Jews confronted the life-threatening horrors of anti-Semitism. In 2018 America, we’re all equal, no matter our race, faith, gender, or ethnicity. We stay below the identical Structure.
Sure, I draw power from becoming a member of along with Muslims and Catholics and People of different faiths to embrace the fact that we’re one individuals dwelling collectively. However even with out that inter-faith embrace, no disciple of hate, whether or not he carries an assault weapon right into a synagogue or stands earlier than a White Home podium, goes to vary the truth that that is our nation.
So, please maintain your “ideas and prayers.” Everybody searches for the suitable factor to say within the face of a tragedy. We battle for phrases that can match the sorrow that we share and the vileness that we condemn. Prayer could ship consolation on this terrible second, however we aren’t going to like away the hate and selfishness that fills those that commit such atrocities nor their apologists.
To those that want to present help, as a substitute of providing ideas and prayers, say that you will vote within the midterm elections subsequent week. Inform us that you will get out the vote and cellphone financial institution over the following week. I will be canvassing for Josh Tougher in Modesto, California, on Thursday and Conor Lamb in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
On this election and the following, we now have to demand that our elected officers signify the values that we uphold, enshrined in our Invoice of Rights, which they swear an oath to guard. These crimes in opposition to the soul of our nation can solely start to finish once we rebuke this administration on the poll field.
We closed the vigil at Beth Am by singing “America the Lovely,” hand-in-hand with our neighbors. America is gorgeous. This administration and the hate it spreads usually are not worthy of our nation. Phrases and actions have that means. All people listed here are equal. All life is sacred. Now we have to stay and vote these values, now.