For the Tree of Life dead, confront anti-Semitism

Confront anti-Semitism. Eleven souls cry out for us to confront anti-Semitism. On Saturday, they were murdered as they gathered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to praise God. A man of hatred took their lives because they were Jews. No other reason. He killed them because they were Jews. If we do not confront anti-Semitism, this will happen again.

The names of the dead

We honor the dead by speaking their names:

Joyce Fienberg, age 75
Richard Gottfried, age 65
Rose Mallinger, age 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, age 66
Cecil Rosenthal, age 59
David Rosenthal, age 54
Bernice Simon, age 84
Sylvan Simon, age 86
Daniel Stein, age 71
Melvin Wax, age 88
Irving Younger, age 69

Each of these persons has a story. The man of hatred took their lives, but not their names and not their stories.

The Catholic Church calls on us to confront anti-Semitism

At Vatican II, the Church “decrie[d] hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.” Nostra aetate no. 4. Responding to Saturday’s massacre, a representative of the U.S. bishops said that “Anti-Semitism is to be condemned and has to be confronted by our nation.”