Tem­ple B’nai Is­rael vigil helps unite com­mu­nity

Kent County News - - NEWS - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — More than 500 peo­ple at­tended the Tem­ple B’nai Is­rael vigil Thurs­day, Nov. 1, which hon­ored vic­tims of the shoot­ing at the Tree of Life Jewish con­gre­ga­tion in Pitts­burgh.

The vigil also hon­ored the Jef­fer­son­town two, vic­tims in an­other shoot­ing ear­lier in the week.

The stand­ing-room-only crowd came to­gether in song and in sup­port of one an­other dur­ing the vigil, as an as­sort­ment of clergy also gave bless­ings and of­fered prayers through­out the ser­vice.

Cler­gy­men and women from a mul­ti­tude of faiths at­tended the vigil, in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Mus­lim, Chris­tian and African Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

Rabbi Peter Hy­man led the group through­out the night, ex­tend­ing prayers to the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, along with the fam­i­lies of first re­spon­ders and oth­ers wounded in the at­tack.

“May we, as a commu- nity, model unity in the midst of our re­mark­able di­ver­sity,” Hy­man said. “May we model and em­brace in­clu­sion, com­pas­sion and love. ... These sense­less acts of vi­o­lence, ha­tred and big­otry are yet an­other re­minder of how much work still lies ahead of us.”

Hy­man said a new day is dawn­ing in the ef­forts of peace and com­pas­sion through­out the na­tion, ev­i­denced by the out­pour­ing of sup­port he has re­ceived not only from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but from com­mu­ni­ties around the world.

Hy­man said it was im­por­tant to take note of the to­geth­er­ness of the com­mu­nity in mo­ments of tragedy be­cause un­doubtably, there will be more mo­ments of mourn­ing in the fu­ture.

Af­ter Psalms were sung and prayers given for vic­tims, 13 can­dles were lit for the 11 vic­tims of the Tree of Life con­gre­ga­tion and the two vic­tims of the Jef­fer­son­town shoot­ing.

PHOTO BY JACK RODGERS

Mem­bers of the clergy from var­i­ous faiths join to­gether in light­ing the memo­rial can­dles dur­ing the Tem­ple B’nai vigil Thurs­day, Nov. 1.

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