VCU remembers victims of synagogue shooting

Updated: Oct. 29, 2018 at 10:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - By candlelight members of the VCU community gathered on campus to reflect on the manifestation of evil that happened Saturday morning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a synagogue.

“The only way to expel darkness is by adding light by turning on a flame and then the darkness disappears,” said Rabbi Matisyahu Friedman who heads the Jewish life VCU organization. He lead the vigil.

The names of the 11 worshipers gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue were read during the vigil.

“It really touched me because it’s just senseless violence with such a peaceful group,” said Obadiah Smith, a VCU graduate.

Those from various faiths stood shoulder to shoulder. Many, like Daniel Kobulnicky, were not Jewish.

“Because at the end of the day, whether your race, religion, creed or ethnicity, we still need to come together and show people support because we depend on each other whether we believe it or not,” Kobulnicky said.

“And this was an important time for our VCU community to pull together to show unity and to send the message that we rise to high moral ground," Friedman said.

And shine in the process, just like the candles.

“We expel evil by adding flames of goodness and kindness to the world," Friedman said. "When one candle ignites another, the original flame is not diminished. One candle can ignite 1,000 candles.”

The more candles, the brighter the light.

“We are a community and we look out for each other, so being here was nice because everyone was here together,” said student Jonathan Revenson.

“While we’re all different, we’re really all in it together," Friedman said.

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