Chabad Holds Memorial Services With Fellow OC Residents
Massacre Redesigned Into Love By Local Jewish Community
By Edie Johnson
Orange County residents, pulled together in mourning this week, with shows of love and a commitment to a better future for all Jews, indeed all people. The horrific massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue this past week in Pittsburgh left Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burston of the Orange County Chabad at the border of Blooming Grove and Chester terrified for a short while since their son Duvy Burston lives and studies at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, less than a mile from the murders. They sighed with great relief to hear that he was fine, and were proud to watch him participating in the following memorial services. Not only did he participate, but this week Duvy released a song of prayer. “The final verse,” Duvy said states ‘May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of life,’ It’s my hope for the community here in Pittsburgh, the whole Jewish nation, and the world at large – that we should be saturated with goodness and kindness.” The song is available now on YouTube if searched under his name .
Chabad Orange holds many educational and community events in our area, all of which are open to anyone wishing to participate. They have become a very integral and not at all isolated part of our greater community.
Other residents in our area gathered for comfort and to vow for an even better future in this county where worshipers of all faiths usually proudly respect each other.
Following are Rabbi Pesach and Chana Burstons’ comments sent to the Orange County Post after we sent our condolences for them and the Jewish community and following their special Memorial and Healing Service on Sunday night. Hundreds of Orange County residents also attended a gathering this past weekend in solidarity with the Jewish Community at the Orange County Government Center to pray for a better future.
“Throughout history, we have been sought out with hatred simply for being Jewish” said Chana Burston, “Our response must be that we must reach out to each other with love, regardless of labels….labels are for clothes, not people.”
The service, which was somber but uplifting, was attended by many members of the community from throughout the county. Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, as well as Town of Blooming Grove Police Chief Carl Schupp also shared words of support, encouragement and hope for the future. Several deputy sheriff cars were stationed outside.
The vigil began with lighting a candle for each of the victims. Chabad board member Siggy Toback read a statement issued by Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters. “We gather as a community, as a family, as our hearts our shattered by the devastating attack on our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh. We all are all among the wounded. The bullet hit very close to home. Eleven of our brothers and sisters were murdered. It could have been own child. It could have been any of us. It’s hard to fathom how a community celebrating Shabbat, a family celebrating the happy occasion of a bris, can end in such horror. It’s hard to fathom how a 97 woman who survived the Holocaust was gunned down, in the United States, in a synagogue in 2018. As Jews and loving human beings, our hearts and prayers are with the Pittsburgh Jewish community, and all communities. We started the vigil by lighting candles. Why candles? Why are candles so prominent in Jewish tradition? Because it speaks of the Jewish approach to darkness.”
The Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory has taught that the we cannot rid a room filled with darkness by chasing it with brooms and sticks. The only way is to fill it with light. Today more than ever, we need to spread love and unity; positivity and light.”
Caption: Orange County Executive, Steve Neuhaus lights candle at Orange County Chabad Memoral Service for Pittsburgh Massacre Victims