SALT LAKE CITY – A weekly display of peace took on a greater meaning for dozens of Jewish women Friday night.
They lit Shabbat candles at Chabad Lubavitch of Utah in honor of Lori Kaye, the woman killed by an anti-semitic gunman in Poway, Calif., last Saturday.
“It’s been horrific,” said Andi Hoffman. “I can’t even express what type of emotions everyone involved has been going through.”
The senseless killing hits close to home for Hoffman. Many of her family members attend the synagogue in California that was targeted.
“It’s important to show support for those we love,” Hoffman said. “We came and we lit the candles and we also came and gathered to show support for Lori.”
While Hoffman wasn’t personally close to the victim, she knows Kaye was a loving person.
“She always wanted peace on earth,” Hoffman said.
The past week has been difficult for the Jewish community around the world.
“It’s remarkably sad,” said Rabbi Avremi Zippel. “It’s sad that we have to arm our doors during the week. It’s sad that we have to talk about having an armed guard.”
Rabbi Zippel believes the only defense against violence targeting faith groups is courage and love.
“We stand,” Rabbi Zippel said. “We are proud of what we believe in. We will gather together, stronger than ever and goodness will always overcome.”
Hate crimes are unsettling, but the Jewish community, along with those from other faiths, are vowing to stand strong to overcome the violence with a force much stronger than hate.
“The courage and bravery that we need to show to be resilient is also natural,” Rabbi Zippel said. “That bravery is far deeper rooted in our souls than the fear.”