close up on a lit candle

By Molly Cohen

My husband and I were honored to be able to attend the Yeshiva Beth Yehuda dinner last night. Before the speeches began, the audience of more than a thousand people were asked to participate in a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in Pittsburgh on Saturday. If it was not enough to be in a room of generous and compassionate people, it certainly was incredible to share this moment of silence with the greater community.

But the truth is, silence and monetary support are not enough. In fact, standing up for each other and being our brother’s keeper is our responsibility as a Jewish people. If the Torah demonstrates anything, it is that our lives are fast-paced, busy and fleeting, but there is always time and room for growth.

Time, in fact, is built into our daily lives, and on days like Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we learn from each other, grow and move forward towards a brighter future. We owe it to each other to be respectful, to lend a helping hand, celebrate our strengths and work together to improve upon our weaknesses (which we all have). Moreover, we have a duty to teach others and attempt to end animosity just like the hate that rattled our people on Saturday. In reality, we are not so different from each other, and we must continue to work toward a common goal of securing our Jewish future.

So tomorrow, with sadness in our hearts, my husband and I plan on attending a vigil at a local synagogue, where all Jews should be able to pray how they want, without being concerned about being judged or even worse, murdered, because of their religious affiliations and practices.

To Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger – Baruch Dayan Emet, you will never be forgotten.