NEWS Jerusalem at Heart

RomeBy Rossella Tercatin

Shock, anger, a deep sense of loss and sadness: these are the feelings that spread through The Italian Jewish community at the news about the terrorist attack that took place in the Kehillat Yaacov in Jerusalem last Tuesday. While the unbearable details of what happened emerged, the reaction was instant and unanimous: “Let us gather, let us fill our synagogues, in order to pray, to honor the dead, and to cry out loud our love for life”.
For that reason, in Rome, in Milan, in Turin and in many other communities, special ceremonies were held along the regular prayer service.

“We will not bend to violence, we will not give up our commitment to Judaism and to a Jewish life.” said rav Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome, speaking to the people who attended Shachrit, the morning prayer, at the Great Synagogue the day after the attack.
Meanwhile, a number of Jewish leaders and members of the community gathered in the courtyard of the Jewish day school to share a moment of hope and life with the students. Among them, the Israeli ambassador to Italy Naor Gilon, the president of the Community Riccardo Pacifici, the Israeli minister Silvan Shalom and the Italian Jewish MP Emanuele Fiano.

Since the immediate aftermath of the attack, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities Renzo Gattegna has kept in touch with Italian authorities in order to evaluate together the events and the issues related to ensure the security of Italian synagogues and other Jewish locations. “I call on all Italian Jews to go on with their Jewish life, with pride in our identity and values, the same values that our enemies would like to destroy. Our values are stronger than hatred.”