This Shabbos morning began like any other. My husband gave the littlest kids their breakfast so that I could get a few extra minutes of sleep. After he left for shul, I got myself and the kids dressed, and we headed next door to our shul, PZ. The only excitement was that my oldest son went to the shul down the block, Shaarei Torah, for a good friend’s Bar Mitzvah. While my husband is the rabbi at PZ, so he couldn’t leave to attend the Bar Mitzvah, there was no reason that I couldn’t go. So we made plans that the kids would go to their regular Shabbos groups, and my husband would bring them to meet up with us for the Bar Mitzvah kiddush. My second grader decided that he wanted to come with me, so once we made sure that all the kids in PZ were safely and happily settled into their Shabbos groups, we walked over to Shaarei Torah.
As we approached Shaarei Torah, we noticed a few ambulances. I said a perek of Tehillim (chapter of Psalms), as I try to do whenever I see or hear an ambulance, and wondered idly about the power of prayer. What difference would my little Tefillah (prayer) make in the scheme of whatever personal tragedy was unfolding in somebody’s life? They would never know that I had thought of them, nor would I ever know what the ambulance was for. On this philosophical note, I walked up to the doors of Shaarei Torah, and found them, oddly, locked.
Somebody inside opened the door for us, and as the door shut behind us, they informed us that there was a shooting at Tree of Life, just a few blocks away, and that our shul was on lockdown.
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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.