Tree Of Life

“These are wonderful people, good souls, who were just coming to synagogue as they usually did,” Rabbi Chuck Diamond, Tree of Life Congregation.

Diamond was a rabbi at Tree of Life until about a year ago when he retired. Like many in the tight knit Jewish enclave,  Rabbi Diamond remained a part of the community and knew the victims of Saturday’s tragedy in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He knew and had experienced their goodness.

Isn’t that always the case?

Aren’t they always good people who end up massacred or gravely injured while worshipping, going to school, attending a concert, sitting in a movie theater etc.
Take a look at last weekend in America.

A close look at 72 hours—two African Americans shot at random at a Kroger by a gunman who had tried to barge into a church earlier, the arrest of a hate filled crazy who terrorized the nation by sending pipe bombs to those whose politics he didn’t like and the massacre of 11 mostly elderly Jews as they went to synagogue to mark the Sabbath and to attend a baby naming ceremony.

One of the victims was 97 year old Rose Mallinger; a fixture of the congregation and a beloved member of the community.

We are being told by our so-called leaders to fear a “caravan” of desperate people or “others” who are coming for our jobs, benefits, possessions and privilege from outside our borders.

But maybe we should fear those who are already here. Those who decide to “go in” as the American Nazi wrote on some hate filled website and murder 11 good people or the mentally deficient steroid abusing loon who drove around in a van professing his hate with images of people he didn’t like in the crosshairs.

72 hours in America.
And this hate and violence is starting to feel very close to home.

I mentioned in an earlier post  that my wife and I were walking our dogs a few weeks ago when we heard gunshots across Lake Ida Road.
There for the grace…you know the rest.

I’ve been to Squirrel Hill, it’s a short distance from where my sister in law lives. A nephew has visited that very synagogue.
The pipe bomber spent his last weekend of freedom working at a strip club a few minutes away in West Palm Beach.

On Saturday night, we met a few old friends for dinner in Pompano Beach. Of course, the talk of the dinner was the craziness of our politics and the violence of our society in general.
We talked about being afraid to be out in public. We talked about how frequent the violence has become, how angry people seem to be and how our leaders and communities seem ill equipped to actually do something about it.

So we will see a few days of thoughts and prayers, some vague promises to tone down the rhetoric and then life will go on until the next tragedy which is never far behind.

We are taught that love will win.
That love will outlast hate. And I want and need desperately to believe that.
But these times are testing those beliefs and our faith in humanity itself.

Consider…
Famine in Yemen, children wasting away because some rich Saudi prince is playing politics.

A Washington Post columnist cut into bits in a NATO member’s embassy because he’s a critic of a regime?!  But the show went on when the country that sent the hit squad held an investment conference the very next week. Oh and we’ll sell them more weapons too. Not because they have shown how responsible they are but because we can’t afford not to cash their checks. It ought to be the other way around. We shouldn’t dare cash their checks because now we’ve put a price on our values.

Something very important is being lost in all this carnage, nastiness and looking the other way.
Something very basic.

Our decency.

Our values.

The moral high ground or even an attempt to hold it.

Where does it end?

We are at an inflection point and a reflection point as well.

Which road do we go down?

It’s not a hard choice but we have to make it. Love and hope or hate and fear.

Rose Mallinger, a 97 year old Woman and 10 other good souls  were  murdered this weekend by a Nazi in Pittsburgh. Two people were gunned down in a Kroger by a man hunting people of color.
It’s not supposed to happen here.

We are supposed to be better than this.
We are supposed to be a beacon for the world.

Comments

  1. Great article

    • Ellie Hayman says:

      A Great article..I love your most interesting topics. So many children, young adults & retired individuals gunned down by sick people in this world. I sincerely look forward to the return of our Wonderful country. I support on college campus Stand With Us….

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