This article appeared in the October 31, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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A different view of the synagogue shooter

Gene J. Puskar/AP
A group holds a sign during a memorial vigil on Oct. 27 for the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

To the reporter, there was a jarring irony. The man accused of killing 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue was given critical care by Jewish doctors. But to Jeff Cohen, the Jewish president of the hospital, there was only a duty to care. “People say he’s evil,” Dr. Cohen told the reporter in a widely shared video. “He’s some mother’s son.”

In looking through the eyes of a mother, Cohen touched on something powerful. I’m reminded of a recent conversation with our Canada reporter, Sara Miller Llana. Speaking about how she approached reporting in areas gripped by violence and fear, she said “I always tried to connect with mothers (and fathers).” So often, she said, reporters go into these areas and report just on the bullets and the gangs. “But there are also mothers behind every closed door, raising kids, and for the most part doing the best job they can to keep those kids safe.”

Looking at the world that way changed the way she saw the world, she said. “It is so telling to me that every place I've been has always, without fail, been better, safer, more hopeful than what I imagined based on what I read in the media.”

That spirit, as Cohen said, is a duty to care for all, and it is not naive to recognize that the power it showed on a tragic day in Pittsburgh is always available.

Now, here are our five stories for today, with a look at a problem-solving insurgency in Congress, a humanitarian dilemma for Syrian refugees, and the message behind the world’s largest statue.

This article appeared in the October 31, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/31 edition
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