Click For Photo: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/wp-content/uploads/tree-of-life-synagogue-pittsburgh.jpg
The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Photo: Courtesy of the Tree of Life Synagogue Facebook page.
November 3, 2018. The first Saturday after the Pittsburgh massacre, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history, in which 11 Jews were slaughtered doing just what our family does every Shabbat morning—attend synagogue.
Breakfast - Boys—ages - Shooting - Synagogue - Shabbat
Over breakfast, we reminded our three boys—ages 9, 12, and 15—what had happened, how there was a shooting in a synagogue, last Shabbat morning. Eleven died, and six police officers were among the injured. There would likely be a larger crowd than usual at shul, and there’d probably be a police officer too.
We walk to our synagogue on Shabbat, rain or shine, hot or cold. The rain was coming down so hard we doubled-up, with ponchos over our raincoats. As we approached the synagogue, I could just barely make out the shimmering silver badge on one of the two men standing in front of the synagogue. And I thought to myself—oh, we just might look suspicious with our oversized ponchos covering even our arms in the pouring rain. But after a few short moments, I stopped worrying. The man standing next to the police officer was our chief of maintenance; he recognized us, smiled, and waved. Then I took a hard look at Eduardo (not his real name), standing there smiling, unafraid. We approached the door and stopped to take our ponchos off outside under the awning. We smiled, said good morning, and thanked them both for being there, welcoming us, and watching out for us. We were holding back tears.
Services - Bar - Mitzvah - Day - Crowd
Services were packed. A large festive Bar Mitzvah was scheduled for the day, but the crowd...
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