KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Jewish community in Knoxville gathered Monday evening for a prayer vigil following the outbreak of violence between Hamas and Israel.
The Knoxville Jewish Alliance and the Chabad of Knoxville planned the event after learning about the attacks.
David and Amy Hull attended, and said they immediately made the event a priority.
“There was no question, when we started to get the information that there was going to be a gathering whether large or small, we knew we were going to leave work early and meet here and just show support for the community,” Amy said.
They weren’t even out of bed when Amy’s mother called them Saturday and asked if they were watching the news.
“Frightening. Heartbreaking,” David said. “and for me, sadly, I remember, as a young boy, the Yom Kippur War, which was 50 years ago this past Saturday. So it’s tough, it’s hard.”
Rabbi Mendel Pinson recently moved to East Tennessee, and is the new youth director at Chabad of Knoxville. He got the news of the attacks while he was at the synagogue, preparing to celebrate Simchat Torah.
“Trying to channel the correct perspective that what we can do is continue living our life in a positive way, and that’s doing a mitzvah, doing a good deed, and having prayer, and having them in mind in our prayers is what I’m trying to do, and it was very powerful and meaningful,” Rabbi Mendel said.
He said seeing the community come together has made a tough time easier.
“It was very short notice, seeing so many people come together and praying and doing so many mitzvahs like putting on tefillin, people taking home Shabbat candles to light for Friday night, which is another very special mitzvah, and also bringing light physically but also spiritually to the world in a time that there is this darkness going on, is very special and it’s very nice to see everyone here,” he said.