• Mourners from all faiths gather for Shabbat following Squirrel Hill attack

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    PITTSBURGH - One week ago, a gunman walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire.

    Eleven people were killed, several others were hurt and our city was changed forever. But we've seen how incredible the people of Pittsburgh are, as we unite as one. 

    Shabbat started at sundown Friday night, when people of all faiths joined together at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill to show solidarity and mourn the lives lost earlier this week.

    STORY: All 11 victims of Tree of Life attack laid to rest

    “We are here not for a memorial service, not for a rally, not for a vigil, but for an act of spiritual resistance,” Rabbi James Gibson said.

    In one space, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and so many more were unified with the Jewish community. 

    Attendees gave a standing ovation to Wasi Mohamed, the executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and a unifying force since the tragedy hit. 

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    “After that interfaith vigil, we were all feeling at such a low point. Rabbi Gibson embraced me and I’ll never forget that. I actually got that framed,” Mohamed said.

    A very special moment was shared between Gibson and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

    “I think it’s important for all of Pittsburgh to be here. We have a situation that is the purest sense of evil and on the first holy day for Shabbat, our Jewish community comes together in order to mourn those they lost, but also to celebrate,” Peduto said.

    Friday night's message could be felt across the sanctuary: unity, strength and hope for better days ahead. 

    “It’s the first time I was able to close my eyes and feel peace the entire week and it was unbelievable and spiritually uplifting,” Squirrel Hill resident Meryl Ainsman said.

    On Saturday, the victims were memorialized at a prayer service outside the synagogue, a vigil in White Oak and a "Stronger Than Hate" concert Downtown.


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