During Monday’s lunch periods, students wrote notes of condolence and support to members of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in the wake of last weekend’s tragedy.
In addition to writing letters, students, staff and faculty also wrote messages of hope and support on a banner that was presented to Congregation Beth Israel in La Jolla at a vigil later that evening by Dr. Moseley, who noted they were “extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from so many in our community.”
St. Mary’s Chapel was open throughout the day for anyone who wanted to stop in for quiet reflection and prayer for the victims, and our community had the option to make and wear orange ribbons in support of the anti-gun violence movement if they chose.
Bishop’s Chaplain, The Rev. Nicole Simopoulos-Pigato, said the “notes of hope and solidarity for Tree of Life Synagogue are beautiful and full of heart.”
Students, however, feel there is still more we could do to support the Jewish community within and outside of the School, so the Action, Connection and Transformation (ACT) Club met on Nov. 1 to brainstorm next steps. Rev. Simopoulos-Pigato thanked those students, saying, “Our community response on Monday is a ‘first-wave’ response. When it comes to ‘striving for peace and justice among all people,’ we can do more than send condolences and prayers.”
In her letter to Tree of Life accompanying the students’ hand-written notes, Rev. Simopoulos-Pigato referenced our 2018-2019 chapel theme, which comes from Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”
She added, “We have been inspired by Rabbi Tarfon’s commentary on this text.”
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” (Rabbi Tarfon, 70 CE, Pirke Avot 2:21)