Several people from across Central Ohio gathered to discuss a difficult question in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Pittsburgh.
The class, which was part of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s “Wrestling with Faith” course, focused on the following question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
It was held at The Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center, where Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann led the discussion.
Kaltmann said the question is not easy to answer.
“Any answer, a simple answer would not do justice to the 11 lives which were snatched from us,” he explained. “A life is everything. A life is the greatest gift. In our religion, we do anything to preserve, to save life and to have 11 holy people snatched away, torn away in a synagogue, a place where they went to communicate with God, there’s no answer to such a question.”
Kaltmann’s class was scheduled prior to the shooting, but it took on a greater meaning in the tragedy’s aftermath.
“What I’m looking for really is maybe not how to deal with what happened, but how to go forward and try to figure out how to prevent it from happening again,” said Lawrence Cohen, who was in attendance. “There is no easy answer, unfortunately.”
Kaltmann said he is hopeful that everyone will live their lives, in a way that would honor those killed.
“Those 11 people should be alive,” he said. “Nevertheless, their life is represented by the good deeds we do as their ambassadors of goodwill in this world.”