On Oct. 27, 11 people were killed in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. During a seemingly normal Saturday morning service, a man started shooting while shouting anti-semitic epithets. Being a Jew myself, I cannot even fathom the fear that the people inside the Tree of Life synagogue felt, observing a weekly worship and having 11 people in your community be ripped away from you. When I think about these people and their families, my heart breaks for them.
Since this event, there has been a lot of coverage on cities, and the Jewish communities within them, taking a stand against anti-semitism. My own synagogue back home is having an interfaith service to help connect the different religious communities in our area. I have seen so many people share why they are proud to be Jewish and have seen people from all backgrounds give their support. The Islamic community in Pittsburgh has raised over $100 thousand for the synagogue and those affected in the shooting. Overall, the reaction by the public has been inspiring, yet, you can’t help but wonder how these instances can keep happening. Not just anti-semitic acts of violence but gun violence as a whole. And while I know that Pittsburgh and the Jewish community is mourning this loss, I begin to question if the U.S. is becoming desensitized to these malicious and violent acts.
There have already been a multitude of shootings since Oct. 27 and while I have seen news coverages and social media posts about them, they all begin to blur together. From schools to houses of worship to a yoga studio this past week, it seems like everyday a new shooting has occurred in our country. And while mentally, I still have the same thoughts of anger and sadness, the sudden pain I normally feel has started to become dull. There’s always a new hashtag, more people sending their prayers and another speech given by a politician about how this needs to stop. But it hasn’t. Now I’ve seen my community get affected by this issue and I once again feel that sharp pain.
Too often is there a “life cycle” on tragedies. We all feel remorse but let it fizzle out because we know another violent act is just around the corner. As young people, we are becoming desensitized to this reality, and unless there’s a change, the generations below us will just think it’s normal. This shouldn’t be normalized. At this point I don’t know what to think, we as humans have the natural ability to adapt to our surroundings, and it feels like we’ve already evolved to where shootings are just another part of life. Unless we come together, be innovative and find solutions, it seems that we will be left with empty prayers and wishes, waiting for the next tragedy to happen.
The shooting in Pittsburgh proved that anti-semitism is still an issue in the U.S. and ultimately around the world. It is terrible and tragic and deserves to have change come from it. But the fact that these people were shot and shootings are still happening shows that it is an issue way bigger than anti-semitism. People of all ages keep dying yet there has been very little action taken to prevent these occurrences. We shouldn’t let these people’s deaths be in vain, yet after every time there’s another shooting, and after every time we claim never again.
I hope you enjoyed this op-ed. If you agree or disagree with me on this topic and would like to contact me to share your own opinion, or if you would like to request any future topics for me to write about, please do so at email@example.com