The following is an email Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel and Temple Beth Am President Howard Schwartz sent to congregants this evening. Source is publishing as an op-ed with permission.
Some days, things seem a little too close to “home.”
My brother and his family live in Pittsburgh and belong to Temple Emanuel where Rabbi Don Rossoff (Temple Beth Am’s former interim rabbi) is serving as Interim Rabbi.
This morning, my niece was attending Shabbat morning services at Temple Emanuel, while just a short distance away, a horrific tragedy was unfolding.
An anti-semitic active shooter entered Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, home to three different praying communities, and attacked innocent people in the middle of their Shabbat prayers, leaving 11 people dead and at least six others injured.
A synagogue is supposed to be a place of tranquility, a sanctuary should be a place of peace. Shabbat is our “island in time,” our refuge from the din and hub of the week.
Tranquility, refuge, safe-haven, peace, Shabbat – all shattered in an instant: by senseless hatred, violence and terror.
We are devastated by this horrific tragedy. Our hearts and prayers are with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. We wish them comfort, strength, courage, resilience and healing.
We are heartened by the outpouring of friendship and support we have received from our fellow faith-based communities here in Framingham.
As today’s horrific events unfold, Rev. Gregory Morisse and I are praying for you and your congregation. In Framingham, you do not stand alone.
In the coming days as more becomes clear and responses take shape, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you as colleagues, as neighbors, as friends, and our congregation is too.
We pray for the day when our broken world will be whole. Let us all work together so that our society does all it can to prevent gun violence, so that we do not have to worry about our children returning home safely from school every day, or we do not have to worry about making a trip to the grocery store or to the post office or anywhere at all. We all deserve to live in a world that is safe.
We hold the victims, their families and all affected by today’s tragedy in our hearts. We pray for the speedy recovery of all who are injured.
In response to hate, we will continue to live our lives proudly as Jews – we will not be silent, we will continue to gather, to pray, to celebrate – and to stand in solidarity and in support with all who are in need.
We will keep you updated.
For this evening, we stand with Pittsburgh and Jewish communities around the world: zichronam livracha – may their memories be for a blessing.
Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel and Howard Schwartz, President