Lombard rabbi reflects on Pittsburgh synagogue massacre that left congregant's brothers dead

LOMBARD, Ill. (WLS) -- Security remains top of mind at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard. Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky opened her sanctuary to ABC7 Eyewitness News on Tuesday to reflect on the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and remember the pair of brothers who perished among the 11; brothers who worshipped at their nieces' b'nai mitzvah at this other "tree of life" congregation.

"I remembered exactly who they were because they had that kind of presence," Cosnowsky said. "They were love incarnate."

The sister of victims David and Cecil Rosenthal is a member of this congregation. She is in Pittsburgh for the funerals. Cosnowsky discussed how she and her congregation will embrace her once she returns home.

"Just be present to her pain and try to show her how much the congregation wants to be a part of her healing," she said.

In her third year leading this Reform Jewish community of 500 families, the former Nashville singer and composer opened the Ark to reveal a Torah that the congregation is holding for Wheaton College.

"It says, 'This scroll contains the words that unite. May sharing it always bring us joy,'" Cosnowsky said.

Rabbi Cosnowsky said the Torah contains guidance for Jews and gentiles alike about how to make sense of what happened in Pittsburgh.

"At these troubling times that are scary and full of sorrow, to remember that faith and hope endures, and may we always continue to go from strength to strength even through the time of darkness to emerge toward the light," she said.
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