REMEMBERING TREE OF LIFE by Arlene Wolk Posted May 8, 2024 by admin@interfaith


May 8, 2024

Dear Friends:

The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Women’s Day, March 8, by sending you a reflection on the eighth of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information concerning the voice of women that you would like to share to:

Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
[email protected]

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by Arlene Wolk
Continuing to Honor International Women’s Day

May 8, 2024

The Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh has had lasting effects on me and probably will for years to come. As a secondary trauma survivor, I found ways of dealing with my deep grief through acts of kindness as well as through music.

To me, the way to combat hate is through kindness and love. As a caring person, I cooked meals for several friends and neighbors. I also visited families of the victims, sometimes with food, but more importantly, as a patient listener.

I also continue to engage in Torah studies, both online in New York City and London, as well as in person. In this way, I carry on my rabbinic lineage and honor the memories of the 11 who were murdered on October 27, 2018).

In addition, I have been composing a musical piece for two years. Doing so is more difficult than I had imagined, and I continue to revise it. Perhaps it will be finished by Oct. 27, 2024 (the anniversary of the Tree of Life shootings).

Elie Wiesel’s quote, “Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere,” is a meaningful one to me. Ever since meeting him in person at a choral festival, I’m constantly reminded of its importance. If I can alleviate someone’s suffering, even for a short time, perhaps that is another way to combat hateful actions.

May the memories of the eleven Tree of Life victims be for many blessings, and may we honor the victims of mass shootings and gun violence everywhere by being compassionate, understanding and caring people.

Arlene Wolk
Pittsburgh, PA