Tragedy in Pittsburgh

November 1st, 2018 Posted by Susan's Musings 76 comments

I feel the need to respond in three ways to the murder of Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue. As a human being, as an American and as a Jew.

As part of humanity, the only proper response is sorrow. Each and every day, around the world, people do abominable things to each other. Sometimes it is to people they know, other times to strangers. Sometimes a specific group is targeted, other times attacks are seemingly random. As a member of the human race, one must sadly deplore this.

As an American, I grieve as I have grieved too many times in the past. It is a tragedy that human beings are targeted whether it is when they go to synagogue or to a Batman movie, to school or to a country music concert, to work or to church. I grieve that we do not know how to identify or deal with the dangerously mentally ill among us. I am sickened by those whose first reaction to the tragedy on Saturday was a political one. Their hatred of President Trump informed their first reactions and suppressed their ability to respond with love to the families and friends of the victims.

I worry about the ease with which malevolent ideas are spread on social media and also about the dangers of tampering with the First Amendment. I fear that we are incapable of having reasoned discussion about so many topics that need to be faced, not in isolation and not with arrogance but in one far-reaching conversation, including but not limited to: guns, social media, violent video games, abortion and the devaluing of life, the entertainment industry, the press, education, politics, and the place of God and religion in society. The litany is almost endless, but each area affects all others.

This massacre in a Pittsburgh synagogue received attention for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, there have been many acts of hate in the United States that go beneath the radar screen. Did you read about Jewish photojournalist, Jerry Wolkowitz, who recently died after being beaten by Jamil Hubbard in New Jersey back in May? I didn’t think so. The prosecutor’s office said the victim was targeted because of his race. How many times have you read about white people attacking black people because they are black and black people attacking white people because they are white?  How about savages who attack people with disabilities? I could go on. All these things have been happening in this country for years and only a chosen few instances get media attention. There is a lot of hatred and anger out there and many people and institutions, including self-righteous ones, stir the pot and rile people up.

Upon rereading it, that last paragraph sounds depressing. Yet, with about 327 million people in the United States, the number of good people handily overwhelms the number of evil people. We do have to vanquish the latter, but we mustn’t allow their actions to define our nation. As an American, I refute the claim that the act of one venom-filled man turns a country into a seething cauldron of anti-Semitism.

I also reject that idea as a Jew. This is the third lens through which I view Saturday’s assault. If six degrees of separation apply to everyone, within the Jewish community there are probably two degrees of separation. While the families mourning in Pittsburgh today individually resemble countless families who have mourned at mass tragedies – and have much in common with those who have lost loved ones to individual but less publicized acts of violence – personally, this time, even though I know no one in that synagogue, they are my extended family.

Jews are a small group and for good and for bad we are responsible to and for each other. Neither God nor society ever lets us forget that. It is an amazing fact that as a Jew I can land any place in the world with a Jewish community and find people to whom I can turn in an emergency.   I may not share a language, level of religious commitment or culture with that community, but I will be embraced.

As part of the same package, over and over again in history, I will be considered the enemy and hated, regardless of any individual position or identification I make. People will seek my blood claiming they do so because I am a capitalist or socialist, too wealthy or too poor, too assimilated or not assimilated enough. Religious regimes and atheist regimes have tried to destroy us. The excuse is irrelevant; hatred is the common theme. That too is part of being Jewish. (One of the tragedies of Judaism over the past few hundred years is that too many Jews know little of the majesty, wisdom and joy of their heritage and know only its sadness and suffering.)

One of the reasons for this prolonged hatred is simply because we survive. As recipients of God’s promise making us His people, we are still here. That means that we have been persecuted in greater numbers in more centuries and more locations than anyone else. At one and the same time, the myriad various persecutions are horrendous and also attest to our eternal existence.

On a recent long drive my husband and I listened to a few hours of James Michener’s novel, Poland. It was eye-opening. The barbarism and terror under which people lived in Europe for centuries was brutal. The gratitude I feel for living when and where I do intensified with each chapter.

But we both were amazed at one particular part. As students of Jewish history we knew of the massacres of the Jewish community in Poland/Ukraine in the years 1648-1649. Under the leadership of Cossack, Bogdan Khmelnytsky, so many Jews were slaughtered so ferociously that the Jewish community still memorializes that catastrophe today. Here is what amazed us. Michener does mention the murder of the Jews, but it turns out that thousands of others, mostly Catholic Polish peasants, were also viciously massacred in vast numbers. Both my husband and I had been unaware that this was anything more than anti-Semitism as its worst.

Hatred of the Jew has been present since at least the days of ancient Egypt, but hatred between many groups of human beings has accompanied that pathology. It is simply a reality that while different groups will be targeted at different times and places, anywhere that hatred flourishes, if there is a Jewish community, it will be among the persecuted. 

Here is another truth. When hatred of the Jew flares, as it did in Pharaoh’s Egypt, in 15th century Spain, 20th century Germany or anywhere else, not only the Jews but the entire nation will end up suffering. Jews may be convenient scapegoats, but when they are banished or murdered the host country inevitably suffers. 

This too is a truth, though it is one that I suspect will cause offense to many of my co-religionists. As a group, we Jews are part of both the problem and the solution. If we were carrying out our mission to be a light unto the nations and to cleave to God with all our hearts, our lives and our resources, the world would be a place of peace and harmony. That is God’s promise in the Bible. If strife exists, we are failing.

Here’s the rub. We constantly argue among ourselves how to translate that mission into action. We passionately hold conflicting ideas. Most of us have immense trouble loving our fellow Jew, as we are commanded to do, while adamantly rejecting his philosophies and actions, as we must. On more than one occasion, Jews have been guilty of baseless hatred towards each other, We are a stiff-necked people as is evident by our survival, but we are also tenacious when we rebel against God and His directions, whether between man and his fellow man or between man and God. 

If we are created in God’s image rather than creating God in our image, then there is a right way and a wrong way to live. We are in this world together and ignoring wrong ideas ends up leading to misery and the acceptance of evil, not to a kumbaya moment. Sadly, on more than one occasion Jews, with all their power and might, have supported regimes which oppose God, such as Communist Russia, that then turn into governments that persecute Jews.

I was in a Torah class at my local synagogue two days after the killings in Pittsburgh. Before the class started, I heard a number of women saying to one another, “This reminds us that we can’t trust anywhere. Anti-Semitism has reached America now. It is time to leave. Just as Jews in the past decade have fled France, it is our turn now.”

I was appalled at both the inaccuracy and the ingratitude of that remark. Although I understood the fear and emotion behind their comments,  America uniquely has had the moniker among learned Jews as a, “Medina shel chessed,” or “Nation of Loving-kindness.” America was founded on a respect for the Judeo-Christian tradition, abandoning on a national level the animosity that existed towards Jews and between various Christian groups in Europe.  Certainly, individuals failed in this quest, but the nation’s founding documents and ideals upheld it.

I held off writing this because mourning and sadness in and of themselves were the necessary response right after the incident. Sadly, the news has been full of those, Jewish and non-Jewish, who have politicized this event. Once so much of that is out there, I feel obligated to counter that with which I disagree.

One perverted anti-Semitic man running amok does not change America’s soul. I do not see existential danger from individuals. I do worry about anti-Semitism among right-wing extremists, but as long as they stay extremists, it can be countered. They can cause a lot of pain and destruction, as Robert Bowers did, but they are marginalized and countered by tens of millions of good people.

Where I see the biggest danger coming from, however, is from the acceptance and mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party. That is truly scary. Party leadership and icons embrace venom-spewers like Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton. College campuses, bastions of far-Left thinking, are increasingly uncomfortable places for Jews who identify as such. There are an unprecedented number of candidates running for office in the Democrat Party about whom the case can be made that they hate Judaism (and Christianity). That worries me. And it saddens me greatly that members of my extended family, the Jews, are among that Party’s biggest supporters. There is nothing rational about anti-Semitism and there is nothing rational about the behavior of any Jew (including me) in any area of life where we exclude God’s guidance. In the absence of words thundering from Heaven telling us what we should do, each of us, deep in our souls has to answer the question whether we are motivated by our own egos and ideas or by truly seeking to act as servants of God.

May God extend comfort to the mourners of this and all other tragedies.

  *    *    *    *

Words matter greatly and the increased vulgarity and profanity in society
is not irrelevant to the spread of hatred.

It this is a challenge for you or someone you know,
we have a  teaching that can open eyes and hearts.

Perils of Profanity: You Are What You Speak

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76 comments

Carl B. Pearlston says:

This was magnificent; am sending it to all.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Carl. It was very much from my heart.

Lori Murguia says:

Me as well… such clear thinking…thank God for you Rabbi And Mrs. Lapin. Please shout it from the housetops! I’m a Christian follower and I Love and Support God’s Holy Nation. May God be blessed!

Robin Eastham says:

Dear Susan, thank you so very much for that musing. You cut to the heart of the issue, and stated it clearly. You always provide food for thought. As a Christian I cherish my rabbi and his wise wife!

Susan Lapin says:

I appreciate your words, Robin.

Ann Switzer says:

Very recently I have been the blessed receiver of acts of kindness. One stranger offered to bring a 12′ piece of downspout home in his truck and another gentleman offered to help me roll up a difficult roll of chicken wire. These things I have told far and wide among family and friends. I pray every day for the people who help me. I SEE THEM. I love them and I am thankful for them. Good people are all over.

a

Susan Lapin says:

Ann, one of the terrible things of our day is how much attention is paid to bad behavior while there is so much goodness around us.

Teresa Phillips says:

Well said, Susan, and so true.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, Teresa.

LJ says:

This post is well written, Susan. Thank you for writing and sharing it.

“May God extend comfort to the mourners of this and all other tragedies.”

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks, LJ.

MARIAN NICHOLS says:

Loved this! Excellent!

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you for telling me, Marian.

Judith says:

Ever since I heard the news, I have been waiting to hear from you. I so respect your wisdom and thoughtfulness. I grieve to think of the people who want to leave this wonderful country because of actions taken like those Saturday. I am a conservative Christian and I recognize those in the Jewish family as God’s chosen people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Susan Lapin says:

Judith, I hope more and more people realize that in this time and this place God-fearing Jews and Christians are in the fight for our nation together. That is the mission of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians. https://rabbidaniellapin.com/pages/american-alliance-of-jews/

Luda R. says:

There is nowhere to go from here. America has always been and will remain in my heart the place to go for freedom and pursuit of happiness. For those of us who experienced socialism firsthand America is the promised land. If it falls into a socialist inferno – there will be no hope for human race…
I always summon you, Susan, and Rabbi Lapin in the moment of despair… and you never fail to pull me through… My gratitude is endless.
Sincerely.

Susan Lapin says:

Luda, those of you who have experienced socialism and the abandoning of God first-hand must speak up and give your testimony. I’m glad you are doing so.

June says:

It is truly sad what took place in Pittsburgh last Shabbat. We extend consolidation to the families who suffered lost.

Susan Lapin says:

Despite the media wanting to focus on division, I have heard over and over from Jews around the country of the support and love they are getting.

Kerry Cox says:

Susan: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are words of truth. My heritage is from the British Isles, but I want you to know I stand with you!

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Kerry. You say your ‘heritage,’ but if you are still in the British Isles you have your own battles for the culture of the country going on.

Dan Walters says:

Amazing and thought provoking. I deeply pray that this nation remains a welcoming place for the Jewish community (and other as well). Many have sought His direction for healing in the past and it is the only way forward now.

Susan Lapin says:

We need to return this country to its Judeo-Christian culture so that it can be welcoming to those who wish to respect that culture.

James says:

When you speak from the heart you are so powerful. Judaism is a religion and Jewishness is an ethnicity. Unfortunately the two frequently do not coincide. As you point out, sadly many ethnic Jewish folks have embraced and still embrace the cause of godless socialism. But today I witnessed a glowing demonstration by a prominent Jewish (I believe) economist. He was answering a student’s loaded question that seemed to beg the question that The State should step in and mandate that a passer-by aid a drowning man.

This economist stated that it is our duty to stop a person from sinning. But because of the limitations of human knowledge, we can never be sure, and in the cause of freedom we can never force our beliefs down another’s throat. And mandating certain responses makes sin vs. virtue meaningless. In a good society people will be strongly inclined to jump in and help. Yet once we empower government to force certain actions to happen, thereby we cannot necessarily make society good. It was so ennobling to see this man, like you, stand up for virtue and freedom.

Susan Lapin says:

Interesting, James. I did remove the link, but I imagine that a little searching online will bring it up if someone wants to see it.

Brian F. Tucker says:

Amen to all of the above. We pray daily for Israel our Jewish brothers and sisters world wide. In case our Christian brothers and sisters have missed it, we too are being marginalized. We all serve one God. It’s time we let our voices be heard in our schools, at work in the restaurants and most of all at the ballet box.
God blessings,
Joyce and Brian

Susan Lapin says:

Brian, if memory serves me correctly, the killers at Columbine High School asked at least one of the victims if she was Christian. There is definitely a war against the traditional religions that made America great.

Mark Chironna says:

Susan,

I am deeply moved by your words and the wisdom behind them. Thank you for being a voice. Our love and prayers to you and Rabbi and the family.

Susan Lapin says:

Pastor Mark – I truly appreciate your words.

Susan Gilliland says:

Susan, thank you for sharing your heart. We were wondering personally, how y’all were approaching the news and the sadness of this event. We love you with all our hearts. Sorry your entire extended family is hurting again.

Susan Lapin says:

Susan, we are stronger together.

Timothy Mauch says:

Susan, your comment on stories below the radar is SO true!

Just a couple of weeks ago, an arsonist in Seattle tried to burn a Filipino church (Iglesia ni Christo) while 50 or so worshippers were inside. Nobody was injured. The SPD caught a suspect 10 days later, last Tuesday.

It was BARELY newsworthy! The only follow-up came when the suspect was caught.

My only suspicion is media racism, it was just a bunch of Filipinos.

A similar story last year, about a mosque arson, lasted a week!

The synagogue story was huge, I think, because it fits the media narrative that antisemitism is rampant in America.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, the loss of life is why it made the news, Timothy. I’m glad that the arsonist was stopped in Seattle. The amount of hatred out there is scary and being fomented.

Karen Boswell says:

As a Christian, grafted to the root of Abraham, my heart and soul is heavy with the news of today.

I am even more concerned because ‘as in the days of Noah’

I know this to be TRUE – There is only ONE HOPE – Jehovah, God, Almighty

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

There is much wisdom in the chapter / verses before this.

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” Leviticus 19:18

‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Numbers 14:18

“But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 7:8

I post all this to say the solution for the world’s ills is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

If you Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength, you have no room for bombs, bullets, fists, evil…

Rita Sweet says:

Thank you so much for the truth
I can feel it when i hear it
I love your time on tv
If only you and your husband could do the 6oclock news
Love and comfort to the recent victims
Praying for our country

Susan Lapin says:

How funny is it, Rita, that the phrase ‘six o’clock news’ sounds almost quaint. I remember waiting for the news to come on as a child to know what was happening. Now, it comes from the phone or computer 24 hours a day and often before it is actually news – just when it’s speculation or gossip.

Joyce R. says:

Dear Susan,

Thank you for your words. My heart has been heavy-burdened with sorrow for the victims and the survivors at Tree of Life. Your words reflecting on the great number of loving people versus the few who are lost to hatred brings relief and encouragement. May the Holy One continue to bless you and Rabbi Daniel as you speak the truth in love to your extended congregation of Christians and Jews.

Susan Lapin says:

Joyce, I fear that too many of our college students are being trained to hate instead of to love. As a nation we need to do something about that.

Joyce R. says:

Dear Susan, you comment about the hatred fomented on college campuses is so true. I know I am concerned for my nephew’s children who will be heading off to college in a few years. The family are Christian but I am concerned about whether the twins understand why we believe what we believe so they can safely navigate their college years. I went to a small state school in the early ‘70s. Back then there was active Christian fellowship on campus. Our group often travelled to churches in the area to sing, share with others what the Holy One was doing in our lives, and to serve others. My hope is that the twins would be able to connect with something similar.

Susan Lapin says:

Joyce, I hope you can express your concerns to your nephew and his wife. Unless someone is very firmly grounded and supported, many college campuses are soul-sapping and moral-denigrating places. I think parents need to be much less reticent about making demands on their college-age kids or thinking many times whether the college the child is going to is the right place for them.

The Jewish community and those in the Orthodox tradition were in our prayers, Susan, after Pittsburgh. Thank you for perspective and objectivity. Blessings.

Susan Lapin says:

Blessings, Kristin.

John Brancato says:

Susan, you were spot on with your comments and observations. I look forward to sharing with many, Our nation today, founded on Judeo-Christian values, needs to return to those roots. These morals, ethics and values have and continue to be eroded by those who feel that we can individually select our own standard of morality. There is an old saying: “History repeats itself”. Well, we can read in the Bible what happens to God’s people and Nations when they walk away from God. Can we expect anything less if we continue down this path of moral and ethical self-destruction? I pray for those who are blind and misled and who place their morals, ethics and values above God’s.

Susan Lapin says:

You said this very well, John. Thank you.

Renae Spurgeon says:

Susan, you are by far my favorite woman writer. You use the most profound words to really examine our hearts. Your grammar and syntax are impeccable and I find it hard not to read your articles multiple times as I find some new gleaning each time. The way you convey your ideas are inspiring to me – they follow logic AND passion and I think that is why I love reading your articles so much. Many people have spoken about this tragedy but none have written from the Jewish mother’s heart. As a Christian I find the raw emotion of mothers (like Hannah) really moves me and makes me wrap my mind around more than just what is on the surface. I will never know what it’s like to be a Jewish person in America, but I do know what it is like to be a human being on this planet – and this tragedy (and this article) reminds me that we all have a responsibility to be light-bearers and image-bearers of God. Far less tragedy would occur if we all took this more seriously!

Susan Lapin says:

This makes the time spent on composing my words worthwhile. As for grammar and syntax, I appreciate the pair of eyes and advice my husband gives when I write a Musing. Thank you, Renae.

Deb says:

From New every moment, Deb:
Oh, Susan, this was so beautifully and comprehensively expressed. I’m glad you waited until you felt the wind beneath your wings. Systems problems are inherently complex and don’t usually yield to easy answers. You really touched all the bases. One of the broader ways back is to restore the teaching of accurate history: Do people know that a Jew bankrolled the American Revolution, if they even know of the American Revolution? Do they know that this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian political philosophy, though we tolerate other religions and are free to worship as we see fit? You and the Rabbi are doing wonderful work both as teachers and by example.

Susan Lapin says:

Deb, I am getting much strength from reading the testimonies of people in the Walk-Away movement. I think a ‘teaching moment’ is on America now.

Becky Stern says:

Dear Susan, I’m a new viewer of “Ancient Jewish Wisdom” and your website. Thank you for your thoughts on the murder of Jews in Pittsburgh. Nobody is allowed to grieve anymore before someone jumps in to politicize tragedy, and people accept this. Why are people letting others interpret reality for them? Why are they letting their normal empathy be replaced by responding as others direct them? Very troubling.

Susan Lapin says:

Becky, welcome to Ancient Jewish Wisdom on the TCT network and to our website. What you write about it such a huge problem. It is a vicious cycle as the worst voices grab media attention and that agitates more people to talk without thinking and that grabs media attention etc., etc.

Lynn says:

Susan thank you. I so respect your insight on this. Like Judith, I was waiting for your response. I didn’t get to resd this until this morning but yesterday something happened here in my Colorado hometown that has troubled me. I had signed up to go hear the GOP candidate for governor at the local GOP offices. I also was watching my almost three year old granddaughteryesterday and brought her with me. Because so many showed up, it was decided to move the speakers outside into the parking lot. Just before the speakers began, a pickup truck pulled in front of the driveway and using a bullhorn, a man began yelling things at us and then floored his truck and speed off in a squealing of wheels and blue smoke. I was holding my granddaughter but immediately became fearful that this man would come back. He was obviously a very angry man. We were sitting ducks in that parking lot. Fences on both sides and no way to escape if something did happen. It was frightening. Such is the political climate in our world today. This must stop in America but I have no idea how to change the hearts of those who believe that because I think differently than they do, I’m their enemy. In my own family the divide is great. My sister believes that our President is worse than Hitler. There is no changing her mind. I can only pray. And that is what I’ll be doing. Depending on the results of this election on Tuesday we must all be aware and cautious. But we must also not be the source of anything that causes harm to another.
Blessings Susan. So appreciate you and your wisdom.

Susan Lapin says:

What a horrific story, Lynn. I do hope someone got a license plate and that the police act on this. Whatever the results of Tuesday’s election we must all be aware and cautious – and keep praying.

Steve Gottry says:

Thank you for your wisdom! You and the Rabbi are remarkably brilliant thinkers and writers! I am blessed to be able to follow you both. (I am also blessed that my late Christian parents taught me to love, honor, and respect Jewish people and their faith.)

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you for your kind words, Steve.

Adriana Ansaldi says:

Susan, it was beautiful. Your message should be publish in main media, your voice is the voice of the reason.
You moved my heart and I’m thankful.

Susan Lapin says:

I appreciate this, Adriana. I’m not sure mainstream media wants reasonable voices. What they call ‘reasonable’ or ‘conservative’ is often capitulating to the far Left.

David Allen says:

As an evangelical pastor and a conservative, I consider all Jews my brothers and sisters. Any acts of viciousness, such as happened in Pittsburg and elsewhere, are despicable. God bless you and your husband, Susan.

Susan Lapin says:

I know this is so, Pastor, because I know many fine Christians.

Allen Hern says:

Nov. 2, 2018
Dear Susan and Daniel,

I want to thank you, Susan for such a well reasoned response to the tragedy in Pittsburgh. As a Christian pastor (now retired), I appreciate so much the columns each of you writes, but none more than this. I wish that your column could be published in every newspaper and heard on every radio station in America – and Canada. The nation needs to hear such a balanced approach as yours.

Thank you!

Allen Hern, Kamloops, British Columbia.

Susan Lapin says:

If you’ve been following us for a while, Pastor, you know that we love British Columbia. Just seeing the name Kamloops makes me smile.

This is magnificent, I hope you don’t mind if I pass it along to all my friends…❤️🙏🏻

Susan Lapin says:

Dianne, I appreciate when someone wants to share my words with others. And if I may, for those who use Facebook, please encourage as many friends as possible on Facebook to follow my new page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanLapinsPage/. For some of my writings, that is the only place where notification of a new post is given.

Susan Lapin says:

Dianne, I appreciate when people pass along my writings. And, if I may, I appreciate those of you who are encouraging your Facebook friends (if you use Facebook) to follow my new page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanLapinsPage/. For some of my writings, that is the only place where you can be notified when a new post goes up.

Linda Wheatley says:

Susan, your truthful words are paramount for reforming our society. Truthful words both inform us and establish our belief system. You speak as “one who with whom the Lord has given a tongue of those who are taught, so that you may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.”
Thank you and God bless you.

Susan Lapin says:

Much appreciated, Linda.

Theresa Sidrow says:

Brilliant, as usual. Please keep writing.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you, Theresa.

Janice says:

Thank you for sharing your heart from three different viewpoints. Very helpful and insightful. I grieve with lose that lost loved ones in Pittsburgh but equally grieve with lose who have lost their confidence in this great country. That is also a tragedy. J

Susan Lapin says:

This shooting threw a lot of Jews for a loop as it is the first thing of its type. I hope it leads to conversation and introspection as well as to a renewed patriotism.

Mary Ellen Detwiler says:

I am thankful President Trump is a friend of Israel. I believe Genesis 12:3 is still true. God said, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”

Susan Lapin says:

It is still true, Mary Ellen, along with the rest of the Torah.

Susan, Thank you for this clear, wise, balanced, and beautiful statement! I will be sending it on to my network of friends. I cried several times after hearing the news of the killed and injured. I am a retired Christian evangelical pastor, one of the thousands who love Israel and G-d’s Chosen People, and I stand up for you often and strongly. I have had two wonderful trips to Israel, was a Representative with “Bridges For Peace” for ten years, with others who love and serve Jews in Israel.
May HaShem continue to grant you his peace and grace and wisdom!

Susan Lapin says:

Rev. Allen, we have had wonderful experiences with Bridges for Peace. Thank you for your work.

Eddie says:

I love Judaism, and the work you and Rabbi Lapin do.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for letting us know, Eddie. We hope our work blesses you.

Rebecca Stine says:

Dear Rabbi and Susan, My sympathies and prayers for your extended community and families dealing with tragedy . I’m not Jewish, but I love, and appreciate the Jewish people. I’m glad you live here in our country. We need you. God Bless you all.

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