“Obviously, these teens are still in shock,” says Rabbi Mendy Gutnick, youth director at Chabad of Parkland. “There is one girl we know who was standing between two friends who were shot dead. How can she not be scarred by something like that?”
The Jewish community gathered for an evening of prayers and words of support. The gathering was a concerted effort of a number of area Chabad centers.
“There are no words to say at a time like this,” says Gutnick, who spent the night praying with families who were awaiting word on the fate of their children. “All you can do is hug, cry, and hold each other close.”
At the same time, the rabbi says he has been telling people that it is imperative to channel their shock and grief into positive action. “We each need to carve out a little bit of brightness in the darkness that has engulfed our world,” says Gutnick
“Reach out to a grieving family, even if you do not know them. Do something, anything, because ultimately we need to be able to tell our children that the world we live in is good.”