President Rivlin: "We must say loud and clear - this was an act of anti-semitism. Our brothers and sisters, friends and family, were murdered because they were Jews. We can not, we must not, we will not ignore it or tolerate it." "In your time of pain in your time of loss, we are with you. One people. One family. Unbreakable. Eternal." President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin will open the Jewish community’s memorial vigil at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this evening, Sunday 28 October / 18 Cheshvan. His message of consolation, ending with the recitation of Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, was specially recorded. The event brings together all strands of Judaism and is an inter-faith event.
The president’s comments are here in full:
“Dear families - fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, brothers and sisters of those killed and injured in this horrific terror attack. My dear friends, brothers and sisters, members of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and dear friends of the Jewish community who have gathered here today in solidarity.
I feel your pain today and with me is the entire Jewish people. It is hard for us to believe, hard for us to understand, how hatred and evil rose up, to damage and to uproot the Tree of Life - עץ החיים. How can we accept that a house of worship becomes a place of death? How does hatred dare to harm our dear people at the holy time of Shabbat prayers?
At this time of pain we cannot offer you consolation. But we can take you to our hearts and tell you again and again - you are not alone! The people of Israel and the entire Jewish people stand with you! In your time of pain in your time of loss, we are with you. One people. One family. Unbreakable. Eternal.
We must say loud and clear - this was an act of anti-semitism. Our brothers and sisters, friends and family, were murdered because they were Jews. We can not, we must not, we will not ignore it or tolerate it. Never. Nowhere. For we know and you know the terrible results when we do. From the depths of my heart I want to thank the brave first responders who did not hesitate for a moment and risked their own lives to protect freedom of religion, peace and liberty. They will be in our hearts forever.
May the souls of our brothers and sisters who were killed in this terrible act be bound up in the bond of life forever. God bless the United States of America God bless the Jewish people God bless you all." Credits: video – Avi Kaner, sound – Uri Buzaglo (GPO)