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Grief and Mourning Begins for Victims of School Shooting

Grief and Mourning Begins for Victims of School Shooting

Police investigate at the scene of the shooting.
Police investigate at the scene of the shooting.

Newtown, Conn.—A period of grieving and mourning has begun for victims of the shooting on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 children.

As police released the names of the victims on Saturday afternoon, family, friends and counselors began to gather at funerals and houses of mourning to offer comfort and condolence. The victims ranged in age from six to 56, and the 12 girls and eight boys killed were all first-graders, said state medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II. Seven adults were killed by the gunman, identified by police as Adam Lanza, 20.

The youngest victim was Noah Pozner, who celebrated his sixth birthday on November 20, less than a month ago. According to reports, the boy’s twin sister and older sister survived the rampage.

On Saturday night, Rabbi Sholom Deitsch, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Ridgefield, Conn., returned to Newtown’s one-story firehouse, and surrounded by community members lit a menorah commemorating the eighth and final day of Chanukah, in memory of all who were slain.

On Friday, Deitsch had joined officials and counselors at the firehouse to help anxious relatives who were awaiting news about the attack. Governor Dannel P. Malloy said, “Rabbi, today is Chanukah, it was supposed to be a brighter day.”

Deitsch tried to share some words of inspiration with the governor. “Chanukah is a time that light overpowers the darkness,” he said. “We will get through this as a community,” he continued, "but for the families, the tragedy is unfathomable. We will be there for them."

Following the menorah lighting on Saturday night, Deitsch spent hours with Noah Pozner’s father.

Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut, found out about the shootings on Twitter and immediately contacted area parents, some of whose children attend the local Chabad Hebrew School. He said that three children he knew of were in the school at the time of the shooting, but were not injured in the attack.

“It’s a very, very horrifying and sad day, especially for any parents or grandparents,” he said. “Our prayers are with the victims. There are no words to articulate the pain and suffering that all are going through, and we just hope and pray that those that are hurt should have a full recovery, and for those who are grieving, that G‑d should show them true comfort.”

In a message sent to his congregants just before the Shabbat, Rabbi Yehuda Kantor, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Westport, Conn., wrote that “in times like this, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory) would emphatically declare that whilst we can’t understand nor can we accept evil at all, we must not allow darkness to prevail. The response to darkness and evil, he would say, is to create additional light and goodness. We must never allow evil to prevail. We must increase in acts of goodness and kindness, for ultimately the power of goodness far surpasses that of the opposite.”

“There are no answers,” continued Kantor. “We dare not suggest that there are. Actions will speak louder than words. We must band together and fortify ourselves by sharing this message with our friends and families and taking the world by storm with an avalanche of goodness, thereby cutting evil off at its core.”

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Bracha levertov Brooklyn,ny December 22, 2012

Compare to israel We of course are shocked and outraged that this happend,. Now just imagine that in israel missiles fly every day and the world advises " show restrant" whi le innocent people die? Reply

Joe NYC December 17, 2012

thank YOU Thank u chabbad for always be there for every jew or non jew in the world in moments of happiness or sadness we can always count on chabbad , u never alone as long there is chabbad in the world , May GD bless u all with lots of strength happiness and THANK YOU from me in the name of every person in this planet Reply

Anonymous Riverdale December 16, 2012

Anger Hot Line Is there currently a (for want of a better term) Anger Hot Line? Hot lines exist now for any number of societal ills, and the responders go about quietly assisting untold numbers of troubled citizens. Such a hot line for those experiencing anger (or rage) with which they cannot cope, might intercept some profoundly troubled individuals before they act out in these tragedies. Media could ask, "Angry? Let's Talk About It," or some such message. First-tier responders could be paraprofessionals (students of psychology or medicine) trained in anger management techniques, and refer to the next tier, or next, of ever more professional responders, as determined by their guidelines. Funding could come via a fee attached to gun purchases. If even one tragedy were avoided, the cost would be justified. More debates about "gun control" we've done already. Connecticut already had very strict gun-purchase measures enacted. Better to address the problem of identifying and treating the individual. Reply

Anonymous philadelphia December 16, 2012

shootings in Conn. I embrace the thought that we must not let evil prevail. Acts of kindness and compassion should always triumph hatred and anger. We also must stop the media frenzy about these tragedies. It gives the unbalance emotional people the idea that they can commit these horrible acts. Please talk about and show to everyone kindness and compassion no matter who they are. Reply

Haddasah December 16, 2012

Thank you. It is vey comforting to know that Chabad was there to console these grieving parents. Reply

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