WE MOURN YOU: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, David Rosenthal, 54, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88, Irving Younger, 69,
WITH A BROKEN HEART - FROM THE DESK OF RABBI STEVEN BURG, CEO OF AISH HATORAH
RABBI STEVE BURG,
Dear Aish Family,
I write to you with a broken heart and eyes filled with tears. Eleven of our brothers and sisters were brutally murdered in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania for no other reason than because they were Jews. Rabbi Soloveichik, in his monumental work, Kol Dodi Dofek (My Beloved is Knocking) says that the definition of being a part of the Jewish nation is that we feel each other’s pain no matter where in the world we reside. Today every Jew, everywhere, is doubled over in pain for the loss of these eleven beautiful Jews.
It goes without saying that Aish HaTorah condemns these horrific acts. We call upon responsible leaders around the world to wake up and deal with growing antisemitism. The world at large must stop vilifying Israel and the Jewish people.
I am including links to three articles posted this morning in Aish.com dealing with these atrocities. Many thanks to Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith for coordinating educational responses to this international tragedy.
We beseech the Almighty to comfort the families of those who were murdered and ask that He protect the Jewish Nation from those who would seek to destroy us.
With a broken heart,
Rabbi Steve Burg, CEO, Aish HaTorah
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HEARTBREAKING ATTACK ON PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE
By PASTOR JOHN HAGEE
With hearts full of grief, we stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters all across America today as we mourn the murder of 11 members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. Words cannot sufficiently convey the depth of our heartbreak upon learning a man fueled by vile anti-Semitic hatred burst into a sacred place of worship and attacked families as they prayed, leading to the death of 11 people and injuring multiple others.
Today, our Jewish brothers and sisters are hugging their children close in anguish as they try to grapple with this evil. Every Jewish mother and father in America faces the daunting task of telling their sons and daughters there are some in this country who want to kill them because they are Jewish. It is an unthinkable pain and an intolerable reality.
Now is the time to pray for our friends, to reach out personally with words of comfort and love, and to visibly stand with them against the anti-Semitic poison that fueled this attack. Christians United for Israel was created for such a time as this. This is the moment when we are deeply needed by our friends, and our voices must be heard in this nation. We will not tolerate any threats against the Jewish community, and anyone who attacks them must know that millions of Christians are willing to stand between the Jews and their enemies. To attack one of us is to attack all of us.
Our prayers are with the grieving families of those whose lives were lost, the injured who must live with the physical scars of this event, and every Jewish brother or sister who is in pain and fear today. May they know how much we love them, and may they be comforted by our voices speaking out as one united declaration against anti-Semitism and the hateful violence it spawns.
May G[-]d Bless You and Those That You Love,
Pastor John Hagee, CUFI, Founder and Chairman
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STATEMENT FROM BOULDER JCC
By JONATHAN LEV
As you may be aware, [on Saturday] there was a tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. We are heartbroken as we mourn the victims of this hateful attack, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and greater community.
We understand incidents like this bring up a range of emotions, as well as questions about our community’s safety and security. While we have not received any indications of threats to additional Jewish institutions, we treat this as a time of “heightened awareness.” Thus, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate that safety and security will always be our number one priority and inform you of our protocols. As is our standard operating procedure, we are in communication with local law enforcement, continue to receive updates and information from national agencies, and convene our Safety and Security Team to review, implement, and/or modify safety and security measures.
One of the most important things we can do right now as a community is to is stand in solidarity with the Tree of Life Congregation and show the world we are stronger than hate. We invite you to join us as we gather tomorrow at Congregation HarHaShem at 4:30 pm for a unified and healing response to the shooting. Special thanks to Congregation Har HaShem for providing the space for us to join together in community while we mourn the lives of those taken and wounded at the Tree of Life Congregation. For information and to RSVP, please visit the Facebook page.
Additionally, the Boulder District Attorney's office is scheduled to hold an event, “The Community Response to Hate” on Monday, October 29 from 5 - 7:30 pm at the Boulder JCC. There will be two panel discussions: Fighting Bias in Our Community, and Hate Crimes, Bullying, and Social Media. In light of this recent tragedy, we encourage you to come and learn how we can all remain vigilant in these uncertain times. For more information or to register for the event, please visit the event page on our website.
Finally, please take care of yourselves and each other through this difficult time.
Jonathan Lev, Executive Director
Jason Zickerman, Board President
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YIZKOR FOR PITTSBURGH
Like many, our minds are consumed today by Pittsburgh. By now, we all know the extent of the tragedy. And if we are honest with ourselves, we also know it’s not the last time we’ll gather in collective grief over something so pointless and inexplicable.
It seems relevant to note that the Milken Archive understands Jewish culture as intimately and inextricably connected to America and the world. We do not document a culture that lives in a vacuum, but one that thrives precisely because of its connectedness. Several of the composers in our collection, and a great many of the artists who have contributed to our work, are not Jewish. Indeed, many of our recordings were made in Germany, with German musicians and ensembles. Collaboration in pursuit of a goal—artistic or otherwise—is not an aberration. It’s the norm.
Pittsburgh native and composer David Stock understood that. His career was defined by reaching out and taking risks. He cofounded the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble to champion musical exploration and to give a stage to those who dared to do so. He believed in community, and he understood his identity as part of the multicultural fabric that America has always been. It’s something worth remembering as we approach his third yahrzeit this Friday.
The yizkor memorial service has traditionally been observed with respect to one’s parents, but it can be observed in memory of others as well. So it seems fitting to offer a musical yizkor of David’s that he composed for a close friend and colleague, and that the Milken Archive recorded, in 1999. It’s a small gesture. But we live in a world where small gestures—like words—matter. May we all remember Pittsburgh.
SAUDI ARABIA - DON'T GO THERE
By GLENN MOLLETTE
If you have to choose between Hotel California and the Ritz Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia you would be happier at the hotel from the famous song.
Dozens of persons were held as prisoners at the palatial hotel in 2017 by the Saudi government. All those who were held were accused of criminal behavior and this apparently included several Saudi "princes" and others whose bank accounts are beyond most Americans' imaginations. The government got billions of dollars out of those individuals before they were released from the hotel.
The Saudis know how to make people pay. If you are found guilty of numerous crimes in this nation they will publically behead you and then hang your headless body in a public square. Your crime doesn't have to be murder. You can be beheaded for a much less offense. Don't think about adultery because at a minimum you'll get a hundred lashes and if you are a married adulterer you may be stoned to death.
Recently women have been allowed to obtain drivers' licenses and attend some major sporting events. I would never willfully allow a daughter to travel to this country. The torture and barbaric death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is shocking but not by Saudi Arabia's standards. This is how they do business. Thinking he was safely obtaining a legal document attesting to a divorce resulted in a shocking murder that we hear about daily on the news. Khashoggi had been to the Consulate on September 28 but had been told he would have to return on October 2 to pick up the document. Obviously, the date and time allowed for the Saudi's to prepare for his murder.
M.B.S, or Mohammad bin Salman is the Crown Prince or deputy prime minister of this nation of oil tycoons. M.B.S. did not like the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, once was once very involved in the media of Saudi Arabia but left the country for America. He had become a columnist for The Washington Post and had some serious concerns about the inhumane treatment of his fellow citizens. He wrote about his concerns in his columns.
M.B.S. has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He was appointed Crown Prince in June 2017 following King Salman's decision to remove Huhammed bin Nayef from all positions, making M.B.S. the apparent heir to the throne. It has been reported that the Crown Prince has denied any knowledge of the murder of Khashoggi.
M.B.S. has received a lot of credit for advancing women's rights in Saudi Arabia. He has also been praised for his strides toward social and economic advancements to include promoting tourism and expanding technology in the country. However, any international positive accolades toward him are now on a downhill slide.
The arrest by Saudi security services of scores of prominent businessmen who were imprisoned inside the Ritz Carlton under the guise of an anti corruption crackdown was a crock. Khashoggi heard from friends in Saudi Arabia that prisoners were coerced, in some cases tortured, into turning over billions of dollars to the government. Khashoggi became convinced that M.B.S. who had sold himself as a reformer was a brutal authoritarian.
Khashoggi used his column to expose M.B.S. for arresting people who were not radicals but were reformers for women's rights and an open society. People were arrested to spread fear.
It has been widely reported that In March 2018, M.B.S., ordered Khashoggi to be silent. Allegedly, Khashoggi received a phone call from a media adviser to the kingdom's ascendant deputy Crown Prince, M.B.S, and said to him, "You're not allowed to tweet or write your column or give comments to foreign journalists."
Khashoggi continued on with his freedom of speech provided to all in this great country. Unfortunately, he made one miscalculation and that was going back to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he met his barbaric fate. He thought he was safe because he was on Turkish soil. He guessed wrongly. His gruesome death will only further propel the truth of his columns about Saudi Arabia's brutal authoritarianism royalty.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states, Washington, DC 20003
* * *
The Jewish Observer,
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AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA EXTENDS ITS DEEPEST CONDOLENCES
YAD VASHEM STATEMENT FOLLOWING SATURDAY'S ATTACK AT THE TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE IN PITTSBURGH
By SIMMY ALLEN
Yad Vashem strongly condemns the unprecedented antisemitic attack against the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. In our post-Holocaust global society, there is no room for antisemitism, racism or xenophobia. Yad Vashem deeply identifies with the victims, their families, neighbors and community.
"We are particularly sensitive to the toxic dangers of antisemitism, in its many forms and contexts, and to its destructive implications – not only for Jews, but for all of civilized society," Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev comments. "At Yad Vashem, we have learned, and ardently teach, about the painful truth of the fragility of democratic societies, and the need to perpetually buttress their effective commitment to tolerance, pluralism and human rights."
For this very reason, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center has increased its educational activities devoted to combating contemporary forms of anti-Semitism. Specifically, the Yad Vashem online course" Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present", which has engaged thousands of people from all over the world, examines two thousand years of anti-Semitism and its expression in modern day forms of hatred.
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, documentation, research and education.
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel
* * *
WJC IN AFTERMATH OF PITTSBURGH ATTACK: WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO ENSURE THAT OUR JEWISH COMMUNITIES ARE SECURE AND PROTECTED
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder is sounding the alarm on the very real threats facing Jewish communities worldwide and urging government authorities to ramp up security efforts to prevent such an attack from happening again.
“The horrific act of terror that took place on Saturday at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh has left all Jewish communities, both in the US and abroad, in a state of absolute shock. We have long warned about the sharp rise in antisemitism, on both the far-right and the far-left and have prayed that the many incidences that we have witnessed of late, of vandalism and desecration of property, would never end in loss of life.
“This Shabbat, our worst nightmares came true. Innocent people were killed and wounded for the simple crime of being Jewish. This was an attack specifically targeting the Jewish community, in a deliberate and callous manifestation of anti-Semitism and hatred, and it should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that such horror can and has happened here. We must be vigilant in making sure that this never happens again.
“The Pittsburgh police department were quick to respond to this heinous attack, and for that we are grateful. It is imperative that the authorities across the US, and in every country that has a Jewish community, take every threat seriously, no matter how innocuous it might seem. It is the responsibility of governments and all official authorities to ensure that the Jewish communities, and their institutions, are secure and protected.
“The World Jewish Congress’ Security of Communities Department is actively working with national and local authorities in more than 50 countries to help to provide some of our communities with the proper infrastructure and crisis management tools to defend themselves against any threat. We will continue to do so with vigor, and we stand ready to assist in every way possible.
“Each and every one of us, from average citizen to government official, has the moral obligation to stand up and strongly condemn every form of antisemitism or xenophobia as it rears its head. We cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to the very real dangers that can unfold. Vandalism, hate speech, and other demonstrations of the kind must not be ignored or downplayed. We must be united in unequivocal denunciation and clear in our message that we will not let terror win.”
UN Sec. Gen. condemns attack, conveys solidarity with World Jewish Congress. On Saturday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres conveyed in a personal message to WJC President Lauder his solidarity with the World Jewish Congress following the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The UN Secretariat released the following statement following the attack:
"The Secretary-General is deeply shocked at and strongly condemns the shooting today at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh in the United States. He expresses his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
"The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing antisemitism. Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Antisemitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century.
"The Secretary-General calls for a united front -- bringing together authorities at all levels, civil society, religious and community leaders and the public at large -- to roll back the forces of racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and xenophobia gaining strength in many parts of the world."
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.
Aliyana Traison, Director of Public Relations, WJC
* * *
STATEMENT ON TERROR ATTACK IN PITTSBURGH
The Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies is devastated by the unspeakable loss of eleven lives in today’s hate filled shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. We send our condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and send our wishes for strength to those who will work with this community in the coming days, months and years as they find their way through the trauma and suffering.
The Network joins with its member agencies throughout the US, in Canada and in Israel in support of our colleagues at JFCS Pittsburgh. Our hearts are with them as they work to support, to strengthen and to mourn with their community. This senseless tragedy has shaken those who work each day in care of the human service needs of communities world-wide. We offer our hope that those who lost loved ones or suffered injuries resulting from the shooting will be comforted in their grief.
We affirm our conviction that hate has no place in this world, and are proud that the member agencies of the Network will continue their critical work of bringing hope and health to all communities.
Perry Ohren, Chair, NJHSA Board of Directors
* * *
HOLD CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE
By ISRAEL TEITELBAUM
“Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and corrupts the words of the righteous.” (Exodus 23:8)
“A little bit of light dispels much darkness.” (Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi)
Everyone knows that bribery leads to injustice. Yet, most are blind to the fact that every member of Congress serves as a judge on behalf of all Americans. Prager University clearly identified the problem – public employee unions, amounting to massive bribery! This explains why 535 judges can be blind to the travesty of a failing educational system that is destroying lives every day, and greatly contributing to the 1.4 million criminally active gang members reported by the FBI. The Constitution does not allow the states to deprive parents of their “inalienable” right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Despite School Choice having been a top issue in the 2016 national election, Congress has failed us again.
As we approach the day that will determine the future of our country, we now have the incredible opportunity to spread the light of liberty and justice all across the land, by holding Congress accountable. The miracle of modern electronic communication empowers us all to demand that Congress end the lawlessness and mudslinging in Washington by informing them, “My vote and influence are committed to replace all in Congress with Certified Constitutional Candidates, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof.”
Unlike politicians in Washington, who are fighting for the keys to the nation’s treasury, candidates who truly support the Constitution, as it stands on the solid foundation of the Declaration of Independence, may certify this at a new, unique website […]. Unlike elections of the past, which were bought with many millions of taxpayer dollars, we can no longer afford this. Our future is in grave jeopardy. Tragically, our political pundits are not offering us any solution, other than mudslinging, and advising us to do that which we have been doing for decades, to no avail – the definition of insanity!
Beware of anyone asking you to vote for candidates who refuse to certify themselves as Constitutional. They spell danger to the future of our country, especially our progeny, whom they have already saddled with the impossible debt of over $21 Trillion – that’s 21 million million! Those who stand with candidates who refuse to restore the rights of parents, taxpayers and future generations, are complicit in denying these rights. History is ripe with lessons on where this leads.
The claim that Universal School Choice is “politically impossible,” is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It does not justify support for those who refuse to support our “inalienable” rights.
Tragically, we are living with a criminal element that controls Washington, which explains all that we have seen and heard over recent years. Just as bribery blinds the eyes of wise, and corrupts the words of the righteous, the flow of taxpayer billions into the hands of unaccountable public employee union bosses has brought our government to the depths of lawlessness!
Thank Heaven for modern miracles, that now empower every man, woman, girl and boy with the ability to raise the necessary clarion call to fill all of Congress with Certified Constitutional Candidates, and usher in a new era of domestic Tranquility, Prosperity, Liberty and Justice.
Israel Teitelbaum, Israel
Mollette, Glenn, contributing columnist
Reuben, Liz editor
Israel Teitelbaum, contributing columnist
The Jewish Observer Los Angeles holds itself harmless from any and all representations made in this opinion/editorial section. The paper does not necessarily agree with all or any opinions or editorials published. Freedom of speech is a Constitutional right which entitles every voice to be heard in a civil manner. This paper does not publish language of bigotry, hatred, racism and any other vile aspects of English language to defame, hurt or harm another person via publication. It aims to abide by the tenants of Judaism.