In Pittsburgh, a record number of worshipers turned out on Sabbath morning to pray together one week after an anti-Semitic gunman murdered 11 Jews and wounded six other people, including four police officers, in the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.
It was at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood that Robert Bowers shouted “All Jews must die!” as he opened fire at the congregation last week. He’s now facing 44 charges, including 29 felony counts, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty. By all accounts, Bowers continued yelling that “Jews must die,” even after he was injured and taken into custody.
The oldest of the 11 victims, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger was laid to rest on Friday, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper paid tribute to the martyrs in its front page banner headline by running the first line of the Jewish Kaddish, the Prayer for the Dead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters he called Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue, to “once again send my condolences to the bereaved families and to express my appreciation for the dignified way that he has represented the Jewish community of Pittsburgh in the wake of this horrific attack on Jews.”
Netanyahu also said that he wanted to thank “all the leaders in the United States and around the world who have condemned this horrendous anti-Semitic attack.”
In addition, he said, “I want to thank President [Donald] Trump for going with his family to pay their respects to the dead and to visit the wounded, and for his powerful statement that “those seeking their [the Jewish people’s] destruction – we will seek their destruction.”