Last October, local religious leaders, village and state officials, as well as members of the Jewish community came together to honor the 11 victims who were savagely murdered at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, by a deranged and heartless anti-Semite who was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.
Sadly, another tragedy occurred in Poway, CA, last weekend at the Chabad of Poway when another gunman burst in and started shooting congregates with an AR-15 rifle, ultimately killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye.
Members of the Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad of Mineola held a memorial service to remember Kaye and to denounce such hatred that is expressed towards the Jewish community.
Before speaking, Rabbi Anchelle Perl introduced Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum from Temple Israel of Lawrence, who shared some words of wisdom.
“America has lost its sensitivity,” said Rosenbaum. “Driving here and looking at the paper, there was another killing in North Carolina at a university. We’ve become numb. The hatred may begin with the Jews and it never ends with the Jews. Just look at Nazi Germany. It began with us and just continued. We have the gall to tell the world that there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way. We choose the right way.”
Rosenbaum also said that what happens to one Jew anywhere in the world affects all Jews everywhere.
“My heart is broken,” concluded Rosenbaum. “This is a call for action…Let all of us go forward with broken hearts, strength and uplift one another.”
“It is obvious that the attacker was easily influenced by hate speech and outrageous lies,” said Rabbi Perl to a crowd of approximately 15 congregates. “Other youth and the public in general need to be warned about the dangers of such path, which has left the attacker’s family, the San Diego community and the whole world perplexed as to how this tragedy could have happened in the first place.”
Rabbi Perl urged all leaders of different religions to address the lies of Anti-Semitism by inviting citizens to beware of hateful accusations that can draw individuals into darkness and violence.
“Rabbis should be bringing up the fact that all human beings are equal before God regardless of religion and stressing the truth of Judaism being a religion that respects all faiths and whose main purpose is to bring healing and well-being to the world,” explained Rabbi Perl. “Jewish communities should be reaching out to non-Jewish students in schools and universities in order to allow people to know the truth and be less prone to become victims of hate propaganda.”
Throughout the day, the public was also invited to stop by the Congregation Beth Sholom Chabad of Mineola to sign A Book of Condolence And Inspiration that will be forwarded to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad Poway, which will be given to Kaye’s family.
“In order to prevent more acts of violence, the world needs to be warned that lies against the Jews are now and have always been at the core of anti-semitism,” concluded Perl.
Afterward, members of Chabad Mineola signed the Book of Condolence And Inspiration in front of a photo of Kaye that had a candle lit next to it.