An Attack On One Jewish Community Is An Attack On All Jewish Communities

Tags: Living Beyond Terror, Terror, Antisemitism, Jewish Unity

By Abby Chargo

My heart is shattered and my body is numb. I heard the news on Shabbat, Saturday, October 27th, 2018. 11 Jews were murdered and 6 others were injured in the middle of Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. There were no words and there still are no words to describe the pain and heartache that is pulsing through my entire being. My soul is heavy and my mind won’t stop racing. Why does it feel like this tragedy occurred right in front of me? Why can’t I stop the crying? Why do I feel so affected by something that happened so far away from me?

Toronto vigil for the Pittsburgh attack - Tijana Martin, The Canadian Press

The answer is simple. When you attack one Jew, you attack all Jews. Jewish people have this innate bond with one another; the ability to connect and feel what one another is going through has existed throughout our community since the beginning of time. The Pittsburgh Jewish community lost 11 beautiful, pure souls on Saturday, as did every single Jewish community across the world.

11 members of our family are gone from this world, solely because someone who could not stand the existence of Jews made the active choice to kill us.

He did what he did because he is an antisemite. He had every intention to kill Jews and he was going to find a way regardless, so no, I do not want to hear your opinions on gun control, security guards or how all of this is President Trump’s fault. I just want you to say that you are sorry for our loss and you are here for us.

I want my college university to acknowledge what has happened and let the Jewish community know that they are here for us. But that has not happened. I want my college professors to address and condemn the largest hate crime in U.S. history against the Jewish people in our classes, without me asking them to. But that has not happened. I want my non-Jewish friends to let me know that they are here to support me, in whichever way possible. But that has not happened.

Most importantly, I yearn for the Jewish communities across the world to unite as one and to work together to overcome this horror, not by talking politics, but by talking about hatred and bigotry that is thickly consuming the air of this country and suffocating us all. But that has also not happened. Not yet.

The massacre was a result of growing Jew hate, across the entire world and now, also in America. It did not happen because of who is in office. If we were really going to point fingers, then there would have to be fingers pointed at numerous past presidents who were in office when hate crimes, violence, and harassment of Jews was happening - and they did not address nor condemn those hate-filled acts as antisemitic.

So please, to the Jews and non-Jews focusing on the politics instead of the murders that were committed, do us ALL a favor, do the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting a favor, and please stop. Take a step away from your personal political agenda, tap into your heart and soul.

Can we please just mourn for the lives of the people who were viciously and heartlessly taken out of this world? Can we focus on humanity rather than agendas? Can we think about the families of the victims? The wounded?

How would you feel if your murder was used by someone else to further an agenda? Any agenda? I know that if I was the one murdered I would want those left behind to focus on my life, who I was as a human being and not politics.

About the Author

Abby Chargo
Abby Chargo is a Senior at the University of Kansas. She will be graduating this upcoming December with a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Jewish studies. She loves exercising, learning, cooking, eating a lot of food and meeting new people! Abby’s greatest passions in life are Judaism and Israel and her career goal is to work for a Jewish nonprofit organization in the near future. Am Yisrael Chai!

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Tags: Living Beyond Terror, Terror, Antisemitism, Jewish Unity