My Reflections on Tree of Life Tragedy

With Vicki Schieber, Pittsburgh October 2018

To My Concerned Friends,

This past Saturday morning, I was in synagogue, standing next to the Torah. As we were reading of the binding of Isaac, other folks got word of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I am fine. That night, I was among scores turned away from a suburban location of the Pittsburgh Central Blood Bank. The community reaction was so overwhelming that they could not store or process all the donations they had already received. Pittsburgh is a remarkable community.

We need to tone down the rhetoric. We must respond with gentle anger, but with a dedication to increase love and understanding in our world, and continue to set a moral example. We don’t need stiffer death penalty laws; we need to see the Divine image in everyone, those with whom we agree and those with whom we do not agree. The Jewish communities of Pittsburgh and around the nation are hurting. We know that there are good and evil in the world. We know there is baseless hatred in the world. No one, no community is immune.

Thank you for reaching out to me and thank you for standing in solidarity with us at this difficult time.


[author]Marshall Dayan is an experienced capital defense attorney and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He also serves on the board of directors at Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. [/author]

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