Shabbat candles to be lit at Utah synagogue in honor of San Diego shooting victim

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) –  A memorial ‘mitzvah’ for a woman killed in a Jewish synagogue last week in San Diego was set for Friday night, starting a conversation among local Jewish congregants about bringing more light into an ever-darkening world.

Rabbi Avremi Zippel will say a memorial prayer in honor of Lori Kaye, the 60-year-old San Diego woman killed while practicing her Jewish faith at the end of Passover last week, when a gunman entered her synagogue and opened fire. 

“In Judaism, we believe that the soul is eternal,” said Zippel, who is calling all local Jewish women and girls (typically women and girls light the Shabbat candles every Sabbath) to light theirs tonight in honor of Kaye…” for the sake of elevating her soul,” said Zippel. 

It’s the latest in several recent attacks on houses of worship in the United States and around the world; Easter Sunday, hundreds of Christians were killed by suicide bombers; in March, Muslims at a New Zealand mosque were killed when a gunman opened fire.

Just this week, Chabad Lubavitch of Utah has strengthened its own security, with new cameras and door locks, a sad reality of the dangers now associated with houses of worship, Zippel said. 

“Right now there is talk-  in addition to arming the front doors – of having an armed guard openly carrying outside,” said Zippel. “It’s remarkably sad that now the concept of synagogue shootings is something that’s part of our thought process.”

But this Sabbath, worshippers plan to replace darkness with light. 

“We need to tilt the scale the other way,” said Zippel. “We need to flood the zone with kindness and love and respect and tolerance.” 

The Shabbat candle-lighting begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Chabad Lubavitch of Utah (1760 S. 1100 E.). All are invited to attend the ceremony. 

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Interested in topics of religion and faith? Listen to our podcast Faith & Fury. Check out the latest episode, host Andrew Reeser sat down with Jan Broberg of Netflix’s “Abducted in Plain Sight”.

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