SAN FRANCISCO - One wick at a time, a small group of faithful gathered to light candles at the Congregation Chevra Thilim in San Francisco, as Jewish people around the world do each Friday before sundown to usher in the Sabbath.
"For every ounce of darkness in the world, we have to double down and bring in more and more light," Rabbi Shlomi Zarchi told KTVU.
For Zarchi and his congregation, this time was different.
"Literally everybody knows someone who was either, God forbid, murdered, injured," Zarchi said, referring to the recent terror attack on Israel.
Candles were lit Friday in honor of the victims who cannot light them on their own.
"This is the weaponry that's given to the Jewish people to fight against the darkness," the Rabbi's wife Chani Zarchi said while holding a match, before lighting candles.
Outside the synagogue, a San Francisco Police Department patrol car and a security guard stood watch at the door, part of the beefed-up security.
- Stanford students unhappy with Israel-Gaza discourse on campus
- Some Hebrew schools close, others stay open with police nearby amid 'Day of Jihad' threat
- Competing rallies in San Francisco over Israel-Hamas war
- Israel-Hamas war: Israeli military orders over 1 million people to evacuate as possible ground attack looms
"A lot of this is psychological warfare, 'Day of Rage' and demonstrations, and they wanted school to close down," Zarchi said.
Instead, the place of worship remained open and the people united.
"Food can bring people together," Arnon Oren of El Cerrito said while plating heirloom tomatoes.
Oren catered the synagogue's Friday night fundraiser to send money back to Israel which is where he was during the terror attack, luckily out of harm's way.
He went to Israel to celebrate his father's birthday.
"It's hard to put into words. A cold-blooded killing," Oren said. "It's hard to comprehend."
Many describe the attack as the deadliest against Jews since the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of Oren's great-grandparents.
"Through the light and through goodness you can come out of this dark time," Oren said.
Jews around the world are sending out the same message, by leaning on each other and once again relying on their faith to rise above an unthinkable tragedy.
"We’re gonna love harder than all the haters out there," Zarchi said.