Two days ago, a man opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. His actions resulted in 11 fatalities and 6 people injured. There are so many aspects of this event that I could write about. But there is one thing that keeps stirring in me. The name of the synagogue. The Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life is an ancient symbol that has been used in various cultures and mythology from all over the world. Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Paganism, Baha’i, Hinduism, Kabbalah, Judaism. The Tree of Life was a reference found throughout the globe from Ancient Iran to North America. I find it beautiful that so many belief systems incorporate this symbol, even as their meanings may vary. What stands out to me is how it unites us.
Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” I believe we need to remember we belong to each other. Stop focusing on our differences and focus on our commonalities. We are so much bigger than our religious affiliation, our gender, our sexual preference, our ethnicity, our political party.
I found this description on a metaphysical website (www.old-earth.com) and found it perfectly fitting: “The Tree of Life carries the meaning that we are all related to the Cosmos- to our human family- our animal family- our earth family and our beyond-the-earth family. All of us are physically inter-related and the Tree of Life symbolizes this, as well. Like an enormous family tree, the symbol of the tree shows the roots and the branches- where we have diverged and where we have joined. It shows where we come from and who comes from us.”
My thoughts, prayers, love and light are with this community. As you grieve, we grieve.