Pain. Anger. Shock. Shame. And hope.
In the wake of the massacre of Islamic worshipers in a shrine sacred to Muslims and Jews, members of both faiths in the United States are struggling not to lose ground in interfaith relations and to preserve the peace process in the Middle East.In Illinois, a Chicago rabbi sent personal condolences to a Muslim leader, while some 150 miles away in Macomb the Islamic Center issued an appeal for people of all faiths to continue to work together for peace.
In Michigan, the Greater Detroit Interfaith Roundtable announced plans Wednesday for a memorial service and nearly every synagogue this past Sabbath discussed the attack in sermons or introduced the mourner's prayer with it.
And in New York, Palestinians and Jews gathered in a synagogue Tuesday night to pray not only for those killed in the massacre in the Israeli-occupied town of Hebron, but for Hasidic youths wounded that day in a shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge.
"This is a time where we should not listen to the extremists in both camps who would love to destroy the peace process," said David Leipziger of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun. "The vengeance of Friday's attack will be if the peace process continues."
On Friday, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler from New York, fired 111 shots at Muslim worshipers at prayer at the Ibrahim Mosque, which houses the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The building is revered as the burial site of Abraham - who is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians - and other Old Testament figures. Goldstein killed at least 30 Palestinians and wounded dozens more, according to Israeli army accounts.
At the American Jewish Committee, where statements condemning the killings were sent to Muslim groups, many people were stunned.
"There's really overwhelming sadness, and a sense of loss," said Jason Isaacson, the committee's international affairs director. "The idea of Jewish mass murder is so abhorrent and out of any frame of reference any one of us has, it just cuts us to the core."
In the U.S. Muslim community, there was also a great deal of bitterness.
"There is anger and shock and the feeling of condemnation of the massacre is not enough," said spokesman Maher Hathout of the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles. "Everyone I speak with expresses this opinion: That the settlers should be disarmed or aid to Israel should stop."