SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending an Interfaith Vigil at Congregation Agudath Achim. The vigil was held to pay tribute to the eleven victims of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last week and to help our community come together.
The diversity represented by both the speakers and the audience serves as a reminder to the uniqueness of our community and how we are able to support each other in our time of need.
During the 90-minute service we heard from Savannah’s three Rabbis, Bishop Hartmeyer from the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, as well as Reverends from Unitarian, Episcopalian and Baptist Churches.
At the end, the group of clergy stood with heads bowed as candles were lit for each of the eleven victims, an incredibly powerful display of unity, despite differences.
Each speaker comes from a faith of different belief, but each found the common thread that ties us all together.
There was talk of love, of which we clearly have an abundance of and there was talk of hate, which too, we clearly have an abundance of, but the common theme, and the missing ingredient that’s causing this great divide in our country right now is respect.
Consider this: It is okay that everyone doesn’t agree on everything. As I’m often prone to say, there are varying degrees of right. Not everything is right or wrong, or black or white, or Christian or Jewish, or Muslim for that matter.
We need to find a way to respect people’s beliefs, be they political or religious. That’s what the message was at this vigil, and that my friends, is how we will hopefully one day end the need to have to light candles for those who are brutally murdered for doing nothing more than practicing their beliefs.