Sunday, October 28, 2018

Heartbroken

I am reposting this from Instagram, so my apologies if you've read it already, but I felt it was important to post here, too.


Yesterday an unspeakable tragedy happened in my city. A man filled with hate entered the sacred space of a synagogue and took 11 innocent lives. My family and loved ones are safe, but we have friends who have lost people dear to them. And this horrific act has shattered the sense of safety and acceptance we have always felt in this community.

Tree of Life is a special place to my entire family. We were all members there until just a few years ago. It was the synagogue where I grew up: I received my Hebrew name there, attended Hebrew and religious school there, was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah there, was confirmed there, was married by its rabbi, and gave my own daughter her Hebrew name there. It has been a rock in my life and in my community, and I am absolutely devastated by the violence that occurred there yesterday.

As the news unfolded yesterday, one thing that kept me from giving into the grief entirely was the sheer number of people who contacted me to make sure I was safe — friends, family members who live in other cities, coworkers and former coworkers, Internet friends I have never met in person, former classmates I haven’t talked to in many years. In the face of hated against people who share my beliefs, I was told that I was loved.


I am so grateful for everyone who checked on me yesterday, for the first responders who risked their lives yesterday and likely prevented this tragedy from being much worse, and for the greater Pittsburgh community for coming together to show Pittsburgh’s Jewish community that we all stand together.

As these tragedies become more and more frequent, we are often left feeling helpless. But there is much we can do. If you know someone who is a member of a targeted group, let them know that you care for and value them. Give blood if you can. Volunteer for social justice organizations. Donate to organizations that fight bigotry, like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Speak up against hatred. Vote.

May the One who makes peace in the high heavens make peace for us, for all Israel and all who inhabit the earth. Amen.

5 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, Sarah. My heart aches for your community... and for the Greater Pittsburgh Community. Sending you all so much love and lifting you all up in prayer.

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  2. Your strength is amazing, Sarah. May all that read this post take its words to heart. One by one we can force away the hate with love.

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  3. I love you. I love your family. I love your community. Living in Squirrel Hill was the single best place I've ever lived. The people were warm and welcoming always. I am in awe of your ability to bring light to the darkness and purpose from grief. <3

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  4. I've been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of what to say when really there are no words. So I'll just say Shalom Aleichem, Aleichem Shalom. Peace be with all of us.

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  5. I am so sorry. Glad you are ok. Prayers for peace.

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