I’m not sure people comprehend how peaceful a place Pittsburgh is.

I was once on my way to the dentist, which is actually at the corner where the Tree of Life Synagogue stands. It's a very busy corner where two of the main streets in Squirrel Hill meet. The traffic light was out and there was no police officer to direct traffic. So people took it upon themselves to go two cars from one direction, and then two cars from the next direction, and so on, just taking turns, and traffic flowed beautifully. I have never seen anything like that anywhere else.

I spoke for a gathering at the Tree of Life Synagogue just before Rosh Hashanah. It was such a warm and welcoming group. The victims have been described as people who would do anything for anybody, kind, giving, and peaceful people.

Every year, on the holiday of Lag B’omer, the three local Jewish day schools get together. These are three schools with three distinctly different approaches, but they gather in unity. And there is a community-wide get-together as well.

We have one mikva in our city that accommodates all the halachic positions, so that the members of each of the various communities can comfortably use the facility knowing that their traditions and preferences are honored. We go in and out of each other's shuls, celebrate each other's simchas—and grief—together as well.

But it goes deeper than that.

The people of Pittsburgh are a very tight-knit community even though we are comprised of many different religions and ethnicities. When these horrific killings happened this past Shabbat, my neighbor from across the street came running over and said, “I know that you don't listen to the radio or the TV because it's your Sabbath, but you must know what's happening.” We grabbed our coats and we went over to the site of the shooting see what we could do. On our way, another car stopped us and said the same thing, “We know you don't listen to the news, but you must know what happened.”

Last night, we attended a gathering at the Soldier & Sailor’s Museum where the stage was packed with religious leaders of every color, sect and denomination. The leader of the Muslim Centre in Pittsburgh stood up and said he did not want us worrying about medical costs so his group had started a fundraiser and raised over $70,000, and that was only the beginning. He said, “Whatever you need; if you need us to stand outside your synagogues so that you can pray, then that's what we'll do. If you need us to do your shopping, then that's what we'll do. Because after 9/11, when we were being threatened, you stood by us and that's what you did.” The Christian leaders said the same thing. They said that they were just repaying the favor. Many leaders stood up there and said, “We know this is your family, and it's also our family. This is our community.”

As I left the hall there was a man standing with a Native American necklace, long feathers, and a look on his face that drew us over to him. He just came to be of service. He came to show his support.

Walking home from the event, outside of Eat'n Park, there was a placard that read: “Need a shoulder? Come in for a cup of coffee on us.” It is a local corporation; they are our neighbors. There are chiropractic offices open to people who need. The bus company ran the buses free of charge last night to the event and put extra buses to accommodate the crowd.

This one heinous act of hate created an enormous outpouring of love and support, all around the world. Because that's the world that we live in. The headlines speak of hate crimes on the rise. And we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves, but we live in a good world, and we must work on adding to that goodness.

Do an extra kindness in honor of these wonderful people.