SAN ANTONIO – Members of a local synagogue say they will not let a hate crime that killed several and injured many more at a Pennsylvania synagogue shut them down.
Rabbi Jeffrey Abraham of the Agudas Achim congregation said he was in the middle of Shabbat when he got the news at the podium.
“I was just in shock and did not know how to exactly tell the others,” said Abraham. “We actually had celebratory events going on and I didn’t want to ruin the mood of some families so I waited before I told others what happened.”
He said that shock spread throughout the congregation.
“In the Jewish community we say, ‘Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh,’ which means Jews are responsible for each other and there is really a sense they are a part of us and we are a part of them. We feel their pain in a major way and here we are conducting services the way they are to think this could have happened anywhere and it could have happened to us,” said Abraham.
Now he said he wants justice for those families.
“It is hard for me to forgive not knowing circumstances of where his life is at but I hope that it could be a lesson to everyone to reach for love before reaching for hate in our world,” said Abraham.
Abraham said despite this being a horrific event, the Jewish community has come together closer and stronger and will be more present to show that this kind of hate will never prevail.
He encourages others in the community of all religions to do the same.