Hundreds gather at Roanoke temple to mourn, remember Pittsburgh dead

Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 12:28 AM EDT
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At Temple Emanuel in Roanoke Tuesday night, hundreds, including prominent politicians and religious leaders, gathered to support the Jewish community.

It was a service that brought tears to the eyes of many. "Well, I used up all my tissues. It was very moving," said one congregant.

Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders lined the stage, condemning the act of hate that left eleven dead in Pittsburgh. "In the end, love it stronger than hate. It has to be," said Dr. George Anderson, pastor at Second Presbyterian Church.

The faces of those killed looked down from above during the service. Their names were read aloud, their stories remembered.

It was particularly emotional for Temple Emanuel Rabbit Kathy Cohen. She grew up in Pittsburgh, playing with the family of one of the victims, Max Wax.

"On a personal level," she said, her voice breaking, "this was a man who was just kind. Kind to the bottom of his soul."

A candle was lit for each victim.

Political leaders took the stage too, calling for unity.

"What we need is a wave of compasion, a wave of d"ecency, a wave of respect, a wave of tolerance," said Senator Tim Kaine.

Despite the at times somber mood, Rabbi Cohen brought the service to a close with a focus on light, hope and a promise of a better tomorrow

"Yet, if I look up to the heavens, I think it will all come right," said Rabbi Cohen, quoting 'The Diary of Anne Frank,' "that this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. So may it be."