Carrying the Torah for Those We Lost in Pittsburgh

Scroll_2_(PSF)On Saturday, as I was sitting in synagogue during Shabbat services, someone began locking the doors of our shul. The shootings had just happened in Pittsburgh, and there was reason to fear that it could happen anywhere.

I have had mixed feelings about my relationship to Judaism and my specific relationship to worship, but Saturday’s events strengthened my resolve. As I heard the news of the eleven people who lost their lives, I thought about those people worshipping as I was before being gunned down.

Beyond the communal and cultural aspects of being Jewish, which I have always been proud of, I have been thinking about the meaning of Jews reading Torah—for the eleven that died, for Jews around the world on that same Saturday morning, and for me and my fellow Jews in a small synagogue outside of Washington, DC.

2 comments on “Carrying the Torah for Those We Lost in Pittsburgh

  1. EvelynKrieger on

    This is a beautiful piece. It’s worth noting that the Torah portion read in synagogues world-wide that shabbat was the basis for the mitzva of Hachnasat Orchim, welcoming guests. This positive Jewish value imbedded in young children in day/Hebrew schools, along with our love of the stranger and oppressed, was just what the murderer ranted against.

  2. Richard M. Waugaman, M.D. on

    Thank you, Liat! As always, brilliantly written, with your wonderful personality coming through your words.

    Christianity is responsible for spawning the hateful bigotry of antisemitism. I believe it began when there was a split among the early Jewish-Christians. (Yes, Christianity began as a Jewish sect, before it then spread to Gentiles.)

    A splinter group who then took (and abused) power repudiated Christianity’s roots in Judaism.

    But here is the irony–Jesus was Jewish, not Christian. He never repudiated Judaism, though he may be viewed as ahead of his time in trying to found Reform Judaism.

    The Gospels give two different versions of Jesus’s last words on the cross. It’s possible that Jesus’s last words were actually the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism, that is recited by observant Jews at the moment of death.

    Why weren’t we told this? Because Paul hijacked the real teachings of the historical Jesus to found his own religion.

    No, I’m not Jewish. According to 23andMe, no Ashkenazi genes. I’m a Christian who values the truth, and is disgusted by anti-semitism. (I even thought of founding Gentiles for Moses, as an answer to Jews for Jesus.)

Comments are closed.