I saw this list online and decided to post it here.
All the names tell a story. All the victims who died in the Tree of Life synagogue massacre this weekend leave behind those who loved them deeply and who cherished their relationship with God.
One of the names jumped out at me: Rose Mallinger.
Ms. Mallinger was 97 years of age when the gunman murdered her. I was struck as well by what I read about her. She attended temple without fail for many decades. She is being remembered by her friends and family members as a spry, lively, and lovely virtual centenarian.
Her daughter was among those wounded by the gunman. Ms. Mallinger’s daughter said her mother didn’t live like a 97-year-old.
Her fellow congregants called her “vivacious” and “vital.”
I am struck, too, by the fact that at 97 years of age, she was old enough to remember what happened in Europe to other Jews, who were rounded up and sent by the millions to concentration camps.
The Holocaust has to be considered the 20th century’s most horrific crime against humanity, one that took 6 million to 7 million lives. Why? Because the victims were Jewish and the Nazi tyrants who killed them considered them to be subhuman, not worthy of living, not worthy of rearing their families or of seeking a better life themselves and their loved ones.
The 11 victims of the hideous monster who killed them also have been denied their rights — as prescribed by their government — of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
They have become martyrs. I am positive they wouldn’t want to be remembered for what happened to them while they worshiped. But they are. Forever.
My heart breaks for them all, but there’s something tragically poignant in knowing the age of a victim who died with memories of just how horrifying religious hatred can become.
And my heart breaks for our nation … where this horror originated.