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The Schmooze

The Empire State Building And Eiffel Tower Go Dark To Honor Pittsburgh Synagogue Victims

Dark days, recently.

Two of the world’s greatest landmarks went dark to pay homage to the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday.

In Paris on Sunday night, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were gradually dimmed and then turned off in honor of the 11 victims of the Shabbat morning shooting.

In Manhattan on the same night, the lights on the iconic Empire State Building were darkened. The building emitted a faint orange halo in a nod to the color that represents gun violence prevention. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, tweeted that the decision surrounding the tower was made to “honor the victims of the anti-Semitic attack.”

On a wall of Jerusalem’s Old City, a light projection gave tribute to Pittsburgh’s Jews:

Intentionally or not, the darkening and light effects in each tribute echo the Jewish mourning customs of kindling a light during the period of shiva, the initial seven days of bereavement. The significance of light, darkness, and candles are paramount in Jewish mourning.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


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