On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens visited a Jewish cemetery that had been vandalized in a St. Louis suburb, where they joined in the clean-up effort.
At least 170 headstones were toppled and damaged at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City. Pence thanked local residents for righting the toppled headstones, saying that they are inspiring the nation with their “love and care for this place” and “showing the world what America’s really all about.” He added, “There is no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism.”
After Pence and Greitens’ remarks, they prayed with others at the scene. As they held hands in a semi-circle, a rabbi stated:
In the Jewish tradition, servicing Jewish cemeteries and dealing with the dead is considered the most unbelievable act of kindness, because every favor that you do somebody, for somebody, you don’t know if it’s real, because they can pay you back. These people here, they can’t pay it back, so when we serve them and when we help them out, we’re never going to get it back from them. (Gesturing to the sky) We get it from up there. It is our fervent hope and prayer that through the acts of kindness that we do for the people who can no longer fight for themselves and fend for themselves, God will pay us back with only true kindness.
The rabbi then uttered Psalm 130 in Hebrew
After that, the men got to work with rakes and their own power to restore the cemetery.