Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue,
Cleveland, Ohio

Responds to the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.

From oppression and violence, he redeems their soul, for precious is their blood in his sight.
(Psalm 72:14)

Cleveland— October 29, 2018 — On Saturday, October 27th; Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, David Rosenthal, Cecil Rosenthal, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger, were ruthlessly murdered while innocently worshipping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the suburban Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh PA. The news of this tragedy has shocked the nation and has affected Jewish communities world-wide. Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue, in Cleveland Ohio, expresses our most sincere condolences to the surviving family members of the victims, as well as our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the wounded and for the entire community of Squirrel Hill, which is most deeply impacted by this intolerable, cowardly act of antisemitic hatred.

As Jews, we are no strangers to hate, nor to acts of terror. In Israel, it is a way of life which our people have learned to endure. And to overcome. In Europe, we were victimized by antisemitic haters for centuries. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu remarked in an open letter to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh: “Over the centuries, Jews have been subjected to every kind of savage attack imaginable — from blood libels and massacres to pogroms and genocide — for nothing more than the ‘crime’ of being Jewish.” Netanyahu thanked President Trump “for unequivocally condemning this heinous crime and for pledging to fight those who seek to destroy the Jewish people,” and praised the “clear condemnations” from American leaders across the political spectrum that have poured in since Saturday’s massacre. We could not more agree with PM Netanyahu. He further stated: “While these attacks are nothing new in the history of our people, what is new is our ability to fight back against the anti-Semites,” he said. “Israel does that every day.” Tikvat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue stands in unity with our Jewish people in condemning all expressions of Anti-Semitism in all its various forms; in addition to ethic as well as all religious hate crime universally.

The Scriptures teach that God will bless those who bless the children of Israel, and that all the families of the earth will be blessed through the Jews. It is plain to see how true that Biblical principle is, for it is an irrefutable truth that no people has contributed more to the good of mankind than the Jews. Hence, antisemitism is an attack on humanity and upon civilization itself. It should not be tolerated, not at any level.

As Jews, we are a diverse and pluralistic people, with a wide range of political and religious views. However, we are ONE people; and we stand together in tragedy. When an incident such as this in Pittsburgh happens, it touches us all. Moreover, we invite the many non-Jews worldwide who are friends of Israel, and who are shocked and appalled by this inhumane act, to stand together in unity with us in condemning antisemitism.
It is hard to imagine that there could be any good to come out of this horrific, unconscionable act. Sometimes the worst incidents in our Jewish history have led to a greater future for our people. Even as the holocaust became the precedent that made possible the rebirth of the Jewish State. In that respect, our byword is “Never again!” May that same byword become true of what happened on Shabbat in Squirrel Hill. Never again!

Peace be upon Israel, and may God bless all who stand together with the Jews against antisemitism. As our Jewish people in the Israel Defense Forces say, "KADIMA!" (onward).

For more information, press only:
Messianic Rabbi Eric D. Lakatos
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