It happened in my one-time town

It could happen anywhere

We’ve known that for a while, now

We like the violence we have in

The arenas

Until we have to pay


A prayer service

Affirming spiritual courage


A coward’s assurance of easy

Semitic targets

Let’s go to church and kill

Brings his guns


What is the time

What will we do


The news mentions “a search for answers”

But the answers are all over, everywhere


There’s no mystery here beyond the numinous

The life of faith that the synagogue enjoys

The people there

Their guests

And anything by way of intercession

For the rest of us



That eleven people died

We have to say so far

Worshipers and officers who are wounded

And more

In need of mortal healing

And more

The killer still alive


Pray for forgiveness sometime

Not today

Sorry I don’t have a bigger feeling

Not today


C L Couch




Where a 3,000-year-old tradition meets a 5-year-old’s curiosity.

Tree of Life or L’Simcha Congregation is a traditional, progressive, and egalitarian congregation based in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

We offer a warm and welcoming environment where even the oldest Jewish traditions become relevant to the way our members live today. From engaging services, social events, family-friendly activities, and learning opportunities to support in times of illness or sorrow, we match the old with the new to deliver conservative Jewish tradition that’s accessible, warm, and progressive.

If you haven’t visited us yet, we welcome the chance to introduce you to our community!