Regarding Today’s Shooting Tragedy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We are saddened and horrified by the hate crime and act of terrorism that happened this Shabbat Morning at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims, the staff and members of the Tree of Life, the Jewish Community, and all who mourn.

We are grateful for the first responders and heroes whose actions saved lives and who do everything they can to protect and serve.

In light of this tragic event, rest assured that our leadership will be meeting to re-review our security plans to determine if any changes are necessary, as our security is of utmost and critical importance.

There is no place for hate in this world. Our wonderful teenager friends, who came to our congregation to dwell in our Sukkah and mingle with our teenagers, just sent me this beautifully articulated note, which I’d like to share with you:

“…those who destroy one life destroy an entire world”
Sanhedrin 4:5


Dear Rabbi Meeka,



As we continue to fight towards eradicating hate once and for all, we’d like to reemphasize our commitment to work together with the Jewish community. We condemn the despicable events that took place this morning at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Please accept our deepest condolences on behalf of the Jewish community and know that we stand by the Jewish community in Wayne, New Jersey, and all across the nation and especially our friends at TBT during these difficult times.


Please let us know if there is anything we can do on our end to ease the pain that you may be enduring.


This is not what America is. This is not what America stands for.


With deepest sympathies,

Tuana, Hayreddin, Muhammed, Yusuf, Izzet, and Esad

I will end with a prayer, written by Rabbi Edith Mencher. I think it addresses the feelings and pain we are feeling at the moment. It gives us the strength to know that we are not alone:

We stand in grief
With the devastated families in our community.


We weep
Over the incomprehensible loss of life.


We cry out
With shock, confusion, and pain.


We mourn together
Over this senseless act of violence and destruction.


Be with us, God, in this time of sorrow and fear.
Help us, God, to offer comfort
to those whose hearts are shattered.
Rekindle hope and trust and courage within us and them.
Help us, God, to sustain our belief in the promise
that even in the darkest times –
even when we feel most discourage –
there is reason to trust
that love is never extinguished
and that light and spirit will prevail.


Help us, God, to rededicate ourselves
to building a world that is safer for our children.
Help us, God, to rededicate ourselves
to building a world that is safer for all people.
During these difficult days and nights, God,
bring comfort and peace and hope and light
to broken hearts and a broken world.


May the one causes peace to reign in the high heavens, let peace descend on us, and on all Israel, and on all the world.


Together we say, amen.


Rabbi Meeka

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