On October 27, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a shooting took place at Tree of Life — or L'Simcha Congregation. Eleven people were killed and seven were injured. This attack has been marked as the deadliest attack on Jews in the United States.
Having heard this news and seeing the suspects explanation of "I just wanted to kill Jews," and being Jewish, I'm a little scared. Growing up I learned about a Holocaust, have celebrated Hannukah and learned about all of the holidays and read books. In my house, we knew to never forget.
The thing was, it was all in the past. I recognized the tragedies but it was something that was over. Something that we've moved on from and the world has changed. The fact that a man walked into a Synagogue — a place where Jews are supposed to feel safe and can assemble — and opened fire tells me that there will always be some people out there that dislike Jews. Which is something I will never understand.
Anti-semitism is something that is here, right now. It's in the world around me, around all of us.
I want to be proud that I'm Jewish. I want to post and celebrate and not feel scared that maybe someone would hurt me or my family over it. I can't begin to fathom the idea of being disliked so much that someone would kill me over it.
Though this event was tragic and many people are mourning, they are also remaining strong. Rabbi Jonathan Perlman said the day after the shooting:
"What happened yesterday will not break us. It will not ruin us."
I love this statement. I think it's important to show that despite the attack, we're still here. We are still a family and this event did not break us down.
For me, it's been known that the statement 'you hurt one of us you hurt all of us' is true. The whole Jewish community felt this attack. We're all affected by this and we're all standing together.
I believe in remembering the victims, not the killer. After hearing what his punishment is, I don't plan to ever think about him again. I don't believe he deserves the attention. He doesn't deserve my thoughts.
The victims do though. They will always be remembered.
CNN has a piece that tells the stories of the victims. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and getting to know these people even just a little. I'm happy that they did this piece and shared about who these people were. Let them live on in our memories.
If anyone would like to help those affected this page lists all the ways you are able to with links.
To the friends, family and everyone out there who was affected, my heart is with you. I'm incredibly sorry.
To the victims, I hope you rest well. You will not be forgotten, you will always be remembered and will always be loved.
Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54-Cecil and David Rosenthal are brothers; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86- Bernice and Sylvan are husband and wife; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; Irving Younger, 69.