In October 2018, the Tree of Life Synagogue building, less than a mile from the synagogue I serve, was attacked by a gunman. Our
community is so interconnected that, in truth, the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community was attacked because we stood up for refugees and immigrants. The gunman’s fear of the other reflects Pharaoh’s fear: that strangers are dangerous. Just as Pharaoh’s fear was unfounded, so too the fear of immigrants and refugees is unfounded.
In the aftermath, as we picked up the pieces of our new lives, healing from our tragedy, we became like those wandering in the desert. We had to rely on one another. Not just a group of individuals but a community. We made it, spiritually, to the other side of the Red Sea, and we can see clearer now than ever. We learned that we are in this struggle side by side. That each of us plays an important role and that, together, we are stronger.
-- Rabbi Jeremy Markiz, Congregation Beth Shalom, Pittsburgh, Pa.
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