Yesterday was the second anniversary (on the secular calendar) of the massacre of 11 unarmed congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue by a non Jewish, weapon bearing, white supremacist in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Based on the Jewish calendar, which, as a lunar calendar, is slightly different, the Jewish anniversary of this event will be next week, Thursday, November 5. . It was the deadliest attack against Jews in the U.S. in American history.
The name Tree of Life metaphorically refers that for Jews, the Torah (loosely, the Jewish "Bible"), as stated in Proverbs, 18th verse, "She is a tree of life to those who hold on to her." At the time the synagogue building also hosted several smaller congregations, which met separately, in addition to the named one. Although the building remains closed, the other congregations continue, renting space in other synagogues in the area.
In accordance with Jewish law and custom, the city's Jewish community commemorated the anniversary in a positive manner
with volunteer service projects and public Torah study sessions.
But because of the coronavirus, those Torah studies will take place on Zoom. A public commemoration sponsored by the 10.27 Healing Partnership will also be virtual, livestreaming at 7 p.m. on the anniversary.
May the victims' souls be bound up in the bond of eternal life and their memories be for a blessing.