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On Yom Kippur, a Tree of Life shooting survivor grapples with forgiveness

Source: Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on October 10, 2019, Link to Source

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, centers on the idea of forgiveness.

But what does forgiveness mean in the aftermath of a mass murder? On the first Yom Kippur after the Tree of Life synagogue shootings, what would a survivor say about forgiving the man who shot him and killed his friends?

Hundreds of people — overflowing the neat rows of chairs to sit on the floor and stand against walls — came to a Yom Kippur panel discussion Wednesday at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill to find out.

The panel also included Ivy Schamis, a social studies teacher and survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, and it was moderated by the Rev. Tim Smith, a pastor and community advocate in Hazelwood.