Statement on Pittsburgh attack at the Tree of Life synagogue

Published 27 October 2018
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Upon hearing the horrific news of the attack in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Rabbi Sacks issued the following statement:

The deadly attack inside a synagogue earlier today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has pierced the heart of Jewish communities worldwide. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost loved ones – may they be comforted among all the other mourners of Zion. I wish those injured a complete recovery, both physically and mentally, from this traumatic ordeal.

This attack, which is being reported as the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States, is a tragic reminder that, somehow, within living memory of the Holocaust, we still live in a world where antisemitism exists and deadly attacks on Jews take place.

The fact this attack happened inside a synagogue, whose name is The Tree of Life, makes it all the more horrific. The synagogue is a place where people come together, in peace, to celebrate and give thanks for all we have, above all for God’s greatest gift, life.

Today lives were lost and shattered. We are the people who were commanded by Moses to “Choose life” and ever since, despite the tragedies of our history, past and present, have always striven to choose life and sanctify life. That is what the community of Pittsburgh will now do, and Jewish communities around the world will support them as they rebuild, and remember the lives lost.