In Response to the Tree of Life Shooting: A Statement from the CJJ Board

Carolina Jews for Justice leaders and members are heartbroken and shocked by the shooting that occurred this Shabbat at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This is a moment of deep pain not only for that congregation’s immediate community, but for us, the entire Jewish people, and our country.
 
One traditional Jewish response to news of a death is “baruch dayan ha’emet,” directly translated as “blessed is the true judge.” While there are many ways to understand these words, tonight we lean into an interpretation that centers our human inability to process, to think, or to rationalize in a moment like this one. Our brains are overwhelmed, and our hearts are flooded with sadness. There are no words or prayers that will explain away this trauma, or heal it.
 
But at the same time, these traditional words call on us to judge this situation truthfully and clearly. This was an act of violent antisemitism and white supremacy, and that truth needs to be stated clearly. This feels personal, but is also part of the pattern of tragedies enacted by violent men with access to military weaponry. Unless as Jewish people and as a country we are willing to put serious work into combatting white nationalism and toxic masculinity, while also working for comprehensive gun control, we know that we will see moments like these again.  
 
The shooter today hoped to put an end to our people’s long history of welcoming refugees and caring for the disenfranchised members of our communities. Instead of being scared from this work, we call on our fellow Jews to hold each other in this moment of mourning, and then join us in recommitting to the pursuit of justice.