Joining Prayers from the Metropolitan NY Synod for the Tree of Life Community
"Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah (Pittsburgh), lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more."—Jeremiah 31:15
This verse captures the depth of loss that once again has invaded our lives and a house of worship. We join our prayers for the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and our Jewish sisters and brothers everywhere. Living with anti-Semitism is a cloud that surrounds individuals and families. It is motivated by hate. As a Synod, we reach out in love to our neighbors and mourn the hateful shooting in Pittsburgh.
Tree of Life is a community of believers that has been active in the life of Pittsburgh, social causes, and interfaith relations. It was a meeting place for Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious leaders. I often attended meetings and gatherings at Tree of Life. Rabbi Emeritus Alvin Berkun was and has remained a valued colleague and friend. Ironically, the last interfaith meeting I attended before leaving Pittsburgh to move to Chicago was a meeting with the Press and Media about gun violence…and it was held at Tree of Life.
There is so much hate-filled rhetoric in our country and world. We have a voice of love for our neighbors that needs to be expressed in our daily lives and in the statements of our church.
Let us pray for those who mourn that God's peace may surround them. And, let us be committed to stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers of other religious traditions to renounce hate and violence in any form.
Shalom, dear friends.
Bishop Donald J. McCoid