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In Solidarity with the Pittsburgh Jewish Community

B”H

Dear Friend,

We are heartbroken and pained by the horrific attack that took place on our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh. This is an attack on all of us, and we grieve with the families who have lost loved ones and pray for the recovery of those who are injured. It is hard to believe that in the USA in 2018, as a community celebrates Shabbat, it can be gunned down by a Nazi inspired anti-Semitic monster. The evil and hatred that can lead to such a heinous act is impossible to comprehend.

*  *  *

Alongside the natural mourning and grief, there is a need to focus on things that will result in action and positive change.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Increase in unity. The attacker harbored senseless hatred towards Jewish people. We must increase our love for every one of our people. We are all one family. This is the time for each of us to reach out to someone we haven’t gotten along with or haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Show Jewish pride. Especially at this time, we must show everyone that we are proud of our Jewish identity. Let’s affix mezuzahs on our doorposts; wear our kippahs proudly. We are proud of our Judaism!
  • Add a mitzvah in memory of the victims. Whether wrapping tefillin, lighting Shabbat candles or any other mitzvah, let’s each add one more act to our routine and dedicate it to the memory of those ruthlessly killed.
  • Come to synagogue. Even if we haven’t done so regularly, let’s attend synagogue together and show the world that our synagogues are filled with vibrancy, love and life. We will have a special service on Shabbat morning at Chabad. Stay tuned for more info.

Let us pray that G-d send healing and comfort to the grieving families. We pray for the day when all evil and hatred will vanish from the world, with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

In the merit of our collective mitzvot, may we each bring much comfort and peace at this extraordinarily challenging time.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Wilhelm
Rohr Chabad Center at University of Colorado

P.S. If there is any way we can be of assistance during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch—that’s why we’re here.

Rabbi Wilhelm Cell 303 718 6892

Leah Wilhelm Cell 303 718 6893

P.P.S On Friday night we were privileged to have Holocaust Survivor Barbara Steinmetz who shared her story with the students. Here is a note she wrote to us tonight to share with the students.

Today when I heard…All I could think of is the conversations last evening with the students. Never believing how quickly our conversations would resonate, would find application, and would sear our hearts. Our resolve to remain vigilant, and to speak out whenever we are attacked by hate and injustice is more pointed as ever. The message which must remain on our mental screens is not to allow these tragedies to recede into our caves licking our wounds in sorrow. We must continue to find our voice, to garner our courage, together to overcome attacks on who we are as a people, as citizens of the world. That is what stories of our past, our collective history gives us the strength to overcome the immediate tragedies and remind us of the power we have to stand tall as we rise above these senseless attacks. Of course, our hearts are filled with sorrow for the loss of life, the tragedy to the families, and yet another wound in the soul of our people. We must never however, remain silent….that was my message …..I didn’t realize it would have application so soon after spoken. The entire Jewish community, the world over are there to shield, comfort and embrace the families who suffered this personal tragedy. I embrace you all, you, your family, the students in this moment of nightmare, of awakening once again that our Jewish world can and does get attacked so horribly; that we have each other, to collectively suffer while together, we also stay strong and courageous. I loved being with all of you….again thank you for the honor. It once again helped me gain perspective….that I am here not to just breathe, but to act, to influence, to inspire, to share my passion. God bless all of us..

About Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm

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