I never write about politics or hard news on the blog, but I felt like I had something to write about following the terrible events that happened in Pittsburgh.
For those who don’t know, 11 people died while six were injured after a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last Saturday morning.
The gunman, Robert Bowers, was charged with 29 criminal counts, including 11 counts o using a firearm to commit murder, violating U.S. civil rights laws and charges alleging Bowers seriously injured police officers while obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs.
Here is the list of the 11 people who have died following Bowers’ actions:
Daniel Stein, 71; Joyce Feinberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal 54; husband and wife Bernice Simon, 84 and Sylvan Simon, 86; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.
When I was asked by a friend if I was going to write about it, I wasn’t sure what I could say – but then, I realized that I had a valuable word to add to the discussion and by talking about it, it would create more awareness around this horrible situation.
I might not be a part of the Tree of Life Congregation and I did not knew these people personally, but this doesn’t matter.
What matters, to me and I’m sure to many others, is not only that antisemitism is still very present around us, but call it a “terrible coincidence” or not, all of the deaths were of older members of that community. They were probably the leaders of their family, the people that the young generation looked up to. They probably shared their Jewish history and had knowledge on the traditions related to the religion. With them being gone, it shows how much we need to take care of our history, tradition and culture.
Antisemitism, which means hostility or prejudice against Jews, is something that my fellow Jews and I have to work on to rid off it in this world.
I don’t want to get into details about antisemitism, but I do wanna say that the idea that members of a community being killed because of their religion affects my family, my friends, my fellow Jews and myself as well.
This hate cannot continue – we need to be stronger together and show that we value our history – we value our tradition and we value who we are and where we come from.
I’m not pressing this idea necessarily just for the sake of religion and whatnot, I’m sharing it because everyone has a culture, a background – for example, I’m a Moroccan Jew, French and French Canadian. I value all of my origins and wanna make sure that they remain in this world for as long as it can be. When French people or Canadians are attacked it also affects me deeply.
If it was your religion, your culture, your traditions – you wouldn’t want it to be gone from this world because of the hate of other people, right? Well this is the same for me. I love my Jewish heritage as much as my other ones and seeing/feeling the hate from around the world to my community is devastating.
Whether you’re Jewish or not, take time to give back to your community and help making it stronger because this is how we create a beautiful diversified world.