Two Powerful Moments Happened in the Synagogue Shooting Aftermath
In the hours and days after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, we saw two events happen that may have gotten past most of us.
The first such moment happened in the minutes after the synagogue shooting was over. The alleged gunman, who had been wounded by police before being apprehended, was taken to an area hospital.
The top administrator of the hospital where the gunman was taken said the gunman was yelling that he “wanted to kill all Jews” and continued making such statements as he arrived in the emergency room.
Some of the medics who treated his injuries, as it happened, were Jewish.
Can you imagine trying to help someone who you might know had allegedly been accused of gunning down people just like you at a place of worship? Can you fathom being able to set aside your own pain, your own anger and your own shock to try to help the very person who might just have caused it all?
“My job isn’t to judge him … my job is to care for him,” the hospital administrator said.
That takes a special kind of person to be able to stay that focused during such a horrible tragedy.
But, as it turned out, another big moment would soon follow.
That’s when two groups worked together to raise money for the victims’ families. The groups happened to be two Muslim-American groups who managed to raise $150,000 in just more than 48 hours.
Organizers say that money should be able to pay for the funerals of all 11 victims of the shooting. It was a noble gesture made by people of one belief system to assist those of another.
Many of us would have probably assumed, if we’d heard a religious group raised money to help, that it would have been evangelical Christians. Maybe some Christian groups did raise money; if they did, I haven’t heard of it, yet.
One of the group’s co-founders, meanwhile, told CBS News that they “wanted to give more than just ‘thoughts and prayers,’” a nice little dig directed, surely, toward the people who offer nothing but thoughts and prayers every time there is a display of gun violence.
The synagogue shooting was a tragedy that should never have happened.
But in the face of such a terrible tragedy, we got a glimpse of people of faith who stood strong against hate and truly tried to show love as best they can…and certainly more effectively than some of the rest of us might have been able to.
May we all be reminded of their dedication. If we’re lucky, it’ll rub off on us.