Mitzvah for Pittsburgh

We can all add light in the wake of darkness

Joyce Fienberg, 75

Richard Gottfried, 65

Rose Mallinger, 97

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66

Cecil Rosenthal, 59

David Rosenthal, 54

Bernice Simon 84

Sylvan Simon, 86

Daniel Stein, 71

Melvin Wax, 87

Irving Younger, 69

In a fit of rage, a man entered a place of worship on a Saturday morning, shouting “death to all Jews” and these eleven lives were cut short as a result of his rampage.

This resonated with me because in a different dimension, this could have been me, or someone I know, sitting in that synagogue. You always think, not here, not in a community like this, not to me. I used to sit in the first row of the Commack Jewish Center on the high holidays and count the aged white tiles on the ceiling, while humming the songs alongside my family. But just two states over, at a different time or day this could’ve been me, or someone I know and love.

In the wake of the shooting, Rabbi Meir, of the Chabad Oneonta, held a vigil on campus the following Wednesday night. He said something that stuck with me and probably will for a long time. He said, “they can cut down all the flowers in the world, but they never stop the spring from coming”. In the face of hate, the families and friends of the victims began a mitzvah project called #Mitzvah4Pittsburgh. A mitzvah is a Hebrew word which refers to a good deed. Those affected by the hate are choosing to do a good deed and adding light to the world, in this time of darkness and I think this is important for the rest of us to notice. They could be hateful and angry, but instead they are asking people to change the world with their good deeds. The families of the victims said, they would have wanted it this way, to bring more good into the world and squander the hate. By doing a little good each day we can all enact a small amount of change.

Paramedics brought the gunman, who was still screaming “kill all the Jews”, to Allegheny General Hospital where they were met by the hospital's president, Doctor Jeff Cohen. Dr. Cohen, the surgeon and the attending nurse are all practicing Jews. Cohen is a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue and knew nine of the victims. They treated a man without bias, even though they knew he hurt friends and members of their community. In an interview, Cohen said, “we do not judge here, we take care of people who need our help”.

We can all learn from this. We can learn to spread love and not hate. Choose a good deed. Choose a Mitzvah to add light to the world.

https://www.charidy.com/mitzvah4pittsuburgh

Do good and good will be done unto you

HCXO,

Elizabeth