"But why did he do it?" my son asks me this morning in the car on the way to school. "It couldn't be just because he hates Jewish people."
"Some people hate anything that's different from them," I say, carefully, feeling my way into the words. "It may be that he hates us just because we're not like him."
"That's bad," my son observes.
"It is," I say, nodding. "But the shooter did say something, before he went into the synagogue with his gun, about being angry that Jews are welcoming refugees into our country."
Then I realize I'm not sure my son knows what that word means. "A refugee is someone who comes here fleeing war or danger, someone who comes to our country looking for a safe place to live. The shooter thought that welcoming refugees was a bad thing that Jewish people do. But we think it's a good thing, it's something to be proud of about who we are."
"That's why we give tzedakah," says my son, his voice more certain now.
"It is," I agree.