PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Tree Of Life tragedy may have tested the faith of many but the Jewish community in Pittsburgh is turning to the Torah for guidance out of the darkness.
You can find a holy ark at any synagogue in the world. Inside the ark sits the Torah, carefully wrapped and covered, hand-written scrolls that instruct and guide people of the Jewish faith how to live their lives.
“The Torah was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai over 3,300 years ago and we read from these Torahs every single week,” explained Rabbi Yossi Rosenblum, Director of Education at Yeshiva School.
In addition to reading the Torah out loud to the congregation, Rabbi Rosenblum studies these scrolls every day for guidance and instruction.
He believes the Torah has always held the answers for Jews from the beginning.
“The Torah has survived thousands of years of Jewish persecution, it’s always been right there with the Jewish people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the congregation at Temple Rodef Shalom in Oakland held a number of sessions on Sunday studying the words of the Torah. Among the topics, we can’t do it alone, joining together against hate.
Many in Pittsburgh were left with the feeling of hopelessness and devastation after the Tree of Life massacre one year ago. They’re being advised to turn to the Torah for answers.
“It’s meant to empower us and give us the big picture, yes, there’s evil and people who do terrible things but there’s a lot of good,” said Adam Hertzman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
“The Torah is really central to everything in Jewish life and studying Torah is a traditional way of remembering people who have died,” said Adam Hertzman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “It’s central to a lot of people’s healing, as a way to wipe away evil in the world and concentrate on a sense of God.”
The theme for people commemorating the October 27, 2018 tragedy is “Remember, repair, together.”
“The Torah says, ‘you shall love your friend, your neighbor, as yourself,” said Marshall Hershberg, a congregant.