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