Issue No. 220 | October 31, 2018

Our Turn

It's been a difficult week in Pittsburgh.

The horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday has tested the steely resolve of this City and all of her inhabitants, Sheila and I included.

I've told myself that it is just like the other tragedies that Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland, Sandy Hook (and unfortunately others) experienced. Even though I am Jewish and this happened in my community, I saw this event as just another in the long string of what has become ridiculously normal for our country.

I was wrong.

When you know exactly where the building is located, know people who had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah in that sanctuary, have your own remembrances of religious experiences, and see friends and neighbors on TV speaking tearfully about what happened, I realize that my grief, again, has came home to roost.

What has been comforting, of course, is how our Pittsburgh community comes together to share our common grief.

  • On Saturday night there was a prayer vigil, organized by student in the heart of Squirrel Hill, where the shooting took place.
  • On Sunday night an Interfaith Service with 2500 people shares messages of our common faiths from Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs
  • My neighbors showing up at my house to give me a hug as I get ready to walk Cody the Dog.
  • My stopping two-horse mounted police officers to thank them and exchanging appreciations.
  • My getting scores of emails, phone calls, and social media posts from around the world sharing thoughts and hopes.

We come together to do the work that must be done.

In one of my phone calls my old friend, Reverend Roy Martin, he told me of Elie Wiesel message "Thou shalt not stand idly by."

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© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018

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