Westside Wired

Filed under Opinion

OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Hover over the dots in the above image to hear student opinions.

 

I was standing in a circle with 100 other Jewish teenagers, our arms wrapped tightly around each other, when the news of the shooting was delivered to us.

This Saturday, Oct. 27, 11 victims died during a tragic and senseless shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The oldest victim, 97 year-old Holocaust survivor, Rose Mallinger.

Time stopped and all that mattered to me at that point in time was that I was safe. The fear that I, and my Jewish community, feel right now is nothing new. Fear has spread throughout the nation as a result of the empowerment of hatred and the lack of reform.

We saw it in Charlottesville, we saw it at the Pulse nightclub shooting and we see it in the hate crimes that occur in America daily. What has become of our country? There is no question that we are living during a time where hatred is being empowered. The senseless gun violence and the outright bigotry is shocking and upsetting. The fact that a woman who survived the Holocaust, the largest genocide in world history, was killed in the United States while freely practicing her religion, sends shivers up my spine.

During the memorial at Beth El Synagogue speakers from different faith communities and organizations in Omaha spoke out about the senseless violence in Pittsburgh. “We share our sorrow with all people everywhere because this is a loss for humanity,” Anti Defamation League President Jim Fried said.

To not be upset by the hate our country is filled with, is to not be paying attention.

It’s more than a man running into a synagogue saying that he wants all Jews to die. The anti-Semitism we saw in Pittsburgh is also rooted right here in Omaha. It’s the swastikas I see engraved into desks and the Holocaust jokes I overhear in the hallways. The tragic slaughter of 11 innocent people in Pittsburgh is proof that anti-Semitism is flourishing while in the meantime, our president refuses to denounce white supremacy. Anti-Semitism has a clear presence in our country. The proof exists in the nearly 60% increase of anti-Semitic incidents reported to the Anti Defamation League in the year 2017. All taking place right in front of our eyes, in a country that prides itself on the freedom of religion.

This hate crime sent waves of shock across the Jewish community, and quite frankly, all communities of faith. Nevertheless, in times of mourning we must appreciate the positivity that comes out of it all. This Monday, Oct. 29 a memorial was held at Beth El Synagogue in our very own city that was open to everyone in the community. This is the synagogue I am at nearly every week and every holiday and I have never seen it so packed. Jewish and not Jewish people filled our entire sanctuary. The event was live streamed and people across the city tuned in in support of Pittsburgh. I felt proud to not only be a part of the Omaha Jewish community, but to be a part of a city that without hesitation, came together and prayed for peace.

People of all faiths from the Omaha community gathered at Beth El Synagogue to mourn the 11 lives lost at the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. “When we allow hate to be present in our midst…we create the space for anti-Semitism to live and to breathe,” Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue said.

May we always remember the 11 lives lost in Pittsburgh.

Joyce Fienberg, 75

Richard Gottfried, 65

Rose Mallinger, 97

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66

Cecil Rosenthal, 59

David Rosenthal, 54

Bernice Simon, 84

Sylvan Siman, 86

Daniel Stein, 71

Melvin Wax, 88

Irving Younger, 69

 

Story updated on 10/31/18

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Emily Kutler, Wired Co-Editor-In-Chief

Hi my name is Emily Kutler! I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief for Westside Wired this year. I am currently a senior and this is my third year on Wired. If you...

Navigate Left
  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    Conspiracy Theory for Lunar-tics

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Lance

    OPINION: Unnecessary Evil; How Effective is the ACT?

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    The Yanny vs. Laurel Debate

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    Teenagers Have the Power to Make Political Change

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    1984 Review

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    OPINION: America’s gun problem is more than mental illness

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    News

    The loss of an open and free internet?

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Feature

    Is water wet?

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    Students react to new bathroom rules

  • OPINION: How the Tree of Life Shooting is a Reflection of our Nation

    Opinion

    MOVIE REVIEW: The Hateful Eight (2015)

Navigate Right
The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.