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October 28, 2018 7:01 pm

The Futile Search for Meaning in Antisemitic Crimes

avatar by Jonathan S. Tobin / JNS.org

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The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Photo: Reuters/John Altdorfer.

When something terrible happens, we demand explanations. Awful and irrational events spawn conspiracy theories because it’s part of the human condition to need to make sense of the world, even when the world makes no sense.

That is all the more true when an atrocity such as the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue occurs. The wholesale slaughter at a house of worship on the Sabbath is the sort of act that, almost by definition, defies explanation. What sane person would seek to murder total strangers at prayer? What possible end could be served by the spilling of innocent blood in this manner?

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