On Saturday, October 27, eleven lives were lost and six others injured in a horrendous attack at a Jewish synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Around the nation, Americans are coming together in support for our Jewish brothers and sisters who were targeted for their faith and the way they worship God. Bishop Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh spoke with Morning Air® early Monday morning about the tragedy that took place in his city over the weekend.
How are the people of Pittsburgh responding in the wake of the shooting? “Most people are really seeing this as a opportunity to really turn to God, because He’s the only one that can help us overcome this horrendous evil; He’s the one that can help us to be the victor over the devil. And I think that at this particular point, most people are focusing their attention on the members of the Jewish community and how much support that they need. I’ve heard countless stories yesterday of how people are reaching out to people even if they don’t know them. But that’s the best part of humanity and that’s the best part of Pittsburgh, that people can reach out at a time like this at be instruments of compassion,” said Bishop Zubik.
Over the weekend, Bishop Zubik spoke with some rabbi friends in the Pittsburgh area, offering his condolences and prayers to the Jewish community. At the time that law enforcement were responding to the shooting at Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue, the other synagogues around Pittsburgh were placed on precautionary lockdown during their Saturday morning worship.
Among the 11 victims killed at the synagogue while an infant’s naming ceremony was taking place were two brothers, a 97-year-old woman, and a married couple who had wed at that same synagogue 61 years earlier.
“I think we need to ask that question, ‘Lord, help me to see. Help me to see your face in every face that I meet.’ Because I think that we live in a society that focuses so much attention at us looking at cell phones that we have forgotten what it means to look into the face of other people and into their hearts and look into our own as well,” said Bishop Zubik.
Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless the Jewish community with consolation and peace. We ask for an end to violence and terrorism against people of faith and all of God’s children. Help us to see your face, God, in all of our brothers and sisters, that we may treat everyone with dignity and love. Amen.
Listen to the full interview here: