SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Members of the Jewish community came together Sunday to pray and remember the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting rampage near Pittsburgh.
The prayer service was held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the synagogue at Chabad of Greater Sacramento. A candle was lit for each of the 11 victims as their names were read aloud.
The message from local Rabbis was to shine a light to overcome darkness and do good in the face of hate.
“The Torah tells us, that the power of goodness outnumbers by far any negative power that exists,” said Rabbi Yossi Korik with Chabad in Placer County.
Rabbi Yossi Grossbaum with Chabad in Folsom also addressed the tragedy in Pittsburgh.
“An attack on a Jew anywhere in the world is an attack on every Jew everywhere in the world,” Grossbaum said.
Saturday’s shooting bringing back memories of 1999, when two white supremacist brothers firebombed three Sacramento area synagogues, causing damage and striking fear. The hate crimes then and now are forcing plans for increased security.
“And I’m very grateful to the police department and the sheriff,” said Rabbi Mendy Cohen, Director of Chabad of Greater Sacramento. “They were great to us in ’99 and would come every couple of hours to protect us.”
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, McGregor Scott, was also in attendance and offered reassuring words to the congregation.
“I’ve been in touch with the FBI throughout the weekend. We stand ready. We stand prepared to defend you and your right to practice your religion as you see fit here in the greater Sacramento region” Scott said.
Rabbi Cohen encouraged the congregation to band together in times of fear.
“We should be proud,” Cohen said. “We shouldn’t be afraid. We should just do more good. That will protect us.”
Cohen also handed out a list of mitzvahs to the congregation, good works they could do to combat the hate.