They came to remember those who died

Mt. Zion in St. Paul hosts vigil for Pittsburgh shooting victims

Edgar Linares
October 30, 2018 - 6:50 am
Ram horn

Dreamstime

As the first of the victims are being laid to rest after this weekend's masss shooting at a Pittsburgh temple, more vigils are taking place around the country, and in the Twin Cities.

In fact, so many showed up at the Mount Zion Temple on Summit Avenue in St. Paul that even the overflow room was full, so people started to gather on the lawn.

It was one of several vigils being held in the Twin Cities to show solidarity between the Jewish community and other faith leaders.

The vigil included singing, and the sounding of the ram's horn, known as the shofar, an ancient symbol of a call to community. 

The service was especially moving for Mount Zion cantor Rachel Stock Spilker, who grew up in Pittsburgh and taught Hebrew at the synagogue where the shooting happened.

"I sort of look at it in different layers on how it's affected me," she said. "There's the very personal piece that, my family lives a couple blocks away. It is a synagogue I'm familiar with and had been in a lot. Then there's the piece of the Jewish community, and what we're all feeling, and the shock, and the horror that we're feeling."

Spilker said hours after the shooting in Pittsburgh the first groups to reach out for support where members of the Christian and Muslim communities. 

" A hate crime on a house of worship is a hate crime against anybody's house of worship." said Nausheena Hussain with the Muslim organization RISE.

A GoFundMe page has also been setup to help the families of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting victims.