Shooting of Pittsburgh Synagogue a wakeup call

Tonight I recently found out after Shabbat ended that there was a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

This should be a wake up call to all Jews across the country and the world to arm themselves and be prepared for a potential attack instead of pushing for more gun control since bad guys will get guns regardless of whether .

Robert Bowers the shooter entered into the synagogue and shot 8 people including two police officer in the event.

According to Channel 5 St. Louis, “… Bower’s Gab account contains anti-Semitic posts and his profile says, “jews are the children of satan. (john 8:44) — —- the lord Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”Right before the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, Bowers posted, “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”In the post, he mentioned HIAS, which is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, saying the organization liked to bring “invaders in that kill our people” (Tenga 2018).

This attitude is nothing new, many  people from both left and right streams of the political spectrum have blamed Jews for many of the issues in society.

Just a few days ago a video surfaced of a middle eastern man attacking an elderly Hasidic Jewish man in the middle of the day yelling ” Allah Hu Akbar” and savagely beating him in front of hundreds of people who did not even respond to help him.

” In the last year for which complete data is available, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an advocacy group dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism, found that there had been 1,986 reported anti-Semitic incidents in the United States that year including acts of vandalism as well as physical violence. That figure was a 57 percent increase from 2016 which itself had seen a 35 percent uptick in incidents from 2015″ (Burton 2018).

According to the Vox article by Burton there is an obvious increase in anti-Semitism which knows no political bounds, the right wing extremists accuse Jews controlling US policies to liberalize the country further while liberal extremists attack Jews because of their hatred for the state of Israel.

Jews have been the target of hate crimes for over two thousand years with the advent of the Roman Empire and the expulsion of Jews from the land of Israel Jews have been victims of hate.

The only times Jews were not victims was when we fought back like the Bar Kokhba revolt, partisan Jews in World War Two and the Warsaw uprising as well as every conflict Israel has fought since its founding just to name a few.

As Yishai Fleisher (Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron) says many times, ” people who are not armed in the Middle East are Christians and Yazidis while Jews and Kurds who are armed continue to survive in the Middle East.

Even though the shooting did not take place in the Middle East what Yishai Fleisher says in this statement is universally true no matter where in the world Jews maybe.

In the case of Bower’s he was very much of the anti-Semitic Christian persuasion that Jewish people are the Spawn of Satan with a diabolic plan to change the demographics of America.

We are never going to be able to change people’s views and stop people from becoming Nazis and taking on ideas that are contrary to reality.

Jews can prepare themselves for a potential terror attack by learning basic self defense styles and getting armed.

If there would have been several trained and armed people at the congregation the shooter would not have been able to kill as many people as he did and would not have been taken into custody alive.

Shootings of Jewish institutions have been happening for years already and have continued to exist into this decade.

There was the Los Angeles shooting of the Jewish community shooting by a white supremist in 1999, Seattle Jewish community shooting of  2006 my a Pakistani immigrant, Overland Park Shooting of the Jewish community shooting by a white supremist in 2014, the shooting of the DC Holocaust museum by another white supremist and now we have the tragedy today of the shooting of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh being shot up by a white supremist.

President Trump was correct in saying that if there would have been an armed guard it could have prevented the attack and loss of life.

When I was in Los Angeles for Shabbat a year and a half ago as I would walk down the street almost every single synagogue down Pico Robertson had an armed guard searching congregants right before they would enter.

The issue with having just one security guard standing in front of the property is that a serious attacker can eliminate him and run inside continuing a rampage.

Armed congregants along with a security guard can go a long way to giving real protection to a synagogue because once the first shots are heard the ones who are armed can respond to the attacker and respond with the appropriate force of gun fire.

Just having a gun is not enough to be able to defend oneself and others from an active shooter, people need to train on marksmanship and operating under stress.

Cherev Gidon is a fantastic organization in the United States located ironically in Wayne county, Pennsylvania teaching people on how to properly use fire arms and respond to an active shooter situation.

Regardless of what a person’s political beliefs maybe the reality is that peace will not come on Earth until G-d sends the Messiah and brings peace on Earth.

Until that happens people will have to be prepared for a possibility of an attack on their community.

Even though the possibility of being in a situation where there is an active shooter is extremely low it is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.

Citations

Tegna. “Who Is Robert Bowers? What We Know about the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect.” KSDK, 27 Oct. 2018, www.ksdk.com/article/news/nation-world/who-is-robert-bowers-what-we-know-about-the-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting-suspect/507-608697024.

Burton, Tara Isabella. “The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Comes amid a Yearslong Rise in Anti-Semitism.” Vox, Vox, 27 Oct. 2018, www.vox.com/2018/10/27/18032250/the-pittsburgh-synagogue-tree-of-life-shooting-antisemitism-soros.

About the Author
Shlomo was born in Florida and moved to Israeli in 2012, he holds a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Political Science, served in the IDF as a combat soldier and is a current reservist in the Golani Brigade.
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