Skokie Holds Anti-Hate Vigil Following Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

Nancy Harty
October 30, 2018 - 8:25 am

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Members of the area's Jewish community and their supporters came out Monday night to a vigil in Skokie to stand up against the hate shown in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. 

Organizers read the names of the 11 victims, psalms from the Torah and sang God Bless America during the hour-long event outside Temple Beth Israeli synagogue.

Rabbi Ari Hart of Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob, an Orthodox synagogue not far from Temple Beth Israel, said the vigil was about coming together as one.

“Tonight, we come together across Jewish denominations, across Christian denominations, across Muslim denominations, across human denominations to stand against hate,” he said.

The Rabbi told the crowd he originally thought chants by white supremacists in Charlottesville of 'you will not replace us' were bizarre, but then realized that they should replace them by replacing the mob's hatred with love, darkness with light and death with life.

Temple Beth Israel Rabbi Michael Weinberg continued with that message saying, “We are gathered to say, in the face of hatred, we will forge understanding. In the face of violence, we will build peace. In the face of bigotry, we will breed tolerance. In the face of discrimination, we will seek justice. In the face of darkness, we will spread light.”

Many of those who attended said they came to show the world that what happened in Pittsburgh is not okay. Some said they didn't know what to do after the shooting and sought comfort in the presence of others.

One person held a sign that said "I can't believe I am still protesting this in 2018."

Eleven people were fatally shot and six others wounded Saturday at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Four police officers were among the wounded, in what has now been declared the deadliest attack on Jews in this country’s history.