Under the Branches of the Tree of Life
On October 27, 2018, around 9:45 a.m. and on a peaceful fall Saturday morning, The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, PA, was dealt a hard blow by a senseless act of savagery, an act so brutally heinous it severed 11 branches of varying ages from the trunk of the one-hundred-fifty year-old tree.
Soon thereafter (and for a long while henceforth) the sturdy tree’s canopy of rich foliage morphed into a somber black awning under which the traumatized congregation and supporters from all faith traditions stood, shaken and bewildered, at the numbing gash inflicted on this house of worship. They paused to express their grief, and to mourn, and to reflect, and to bond, and to begin the long process of healing. And across the country and the world peace-loving women and men of goodwill joined in support.
Halaby, Raouf J. Professor Emeritus, "Under the Branches of the Tree of Life" (2018). Articles. 145.