Our most recent news disclosed a senseless and tragic shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Initially, details were unavailable, but CNN rushed to report “multiple casualties” and an ongoing unsafe situation. As events progressed, eleven worshippers were killed, one of whom was a 97-year old Holocaust survivor. Every time I think of them, my heart hurts.

The day before, authorities identified and captured a crazy who thought it would be fun or productive to dispatch bombs to those with whom he politically disagreed. He was repeatedly identified as a Republican, but I’m not convinced that his political loyalty explains or clarifies his lunacy.

Over the years, we have often associated crimes with need or greed. With the recent numerous smash and grab incidents in the Denver area, the perpetrators were seen grabbing cash and cash and cash registers. Was this because their families were hungry or because they were seeking easily procured wealth?

While crime is not new to us, it seems that our world has become less and less respectful of the rights and safety of others. As an example, with the presumed sanctity of a synagogue, who would ever anticipate being shot during prayer? And who would ever consider bringing a weapon for self-protection into this sanctuary?

For fear of being a doom-and-gloomer, sky is falling catastrophist, it is reasonable to wonder if a solution is available. Are we punishing offenders enough to deter future crimes? Are we teaching our children that stealing is bad and are we displaying the appropriate role modeling? My guess is no, no and no.

The gun control issue is much too convoluted to approach here. But I continue to wonder if the person who killed eleven in a synagogue had a registered gun.

My best response is to continue educating. One child at a time, we can raise responsible and morally correct citizens. If many follow my example, we can’t help but make the world safer. And as for the eleven who died in Pittsburgh, may their memories be for a blessing. Shalom.

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