May 21, 2019

Amalek Comes to Pittsburgh

“There are not so many of us Jews in the world—something like 0.2% of the population—so we pride ourselves on punching above our weight. We introduced some of the foundational ideas of Western civilization: the sanctity of human life, uniform morality, freedom, concern for the downtrodden, the weekend.

Sadly we are also above average in attracting evil people who hate what we stand for. This murderer, like all anti-Semites, resents the ideas that we carry in this world. Concern for the downtrodden? Who’s more downtrodden than a refugee?

The archetype for all anti-Semites is Amalek. His cowardly specialty was picking off the old, weak and infirm stragglers at the back of the Exodus pack. Saturday’s murderer was Amalek brought to life, as he mainly killed old and mentally challenged members of all three of the resident congregations.

For a couple of years, I was the head of a congregation that merged with Tree of Life; for many years I was a late-arriving regular at the Shabbat morning service that was attacked. I knew five of the people who were murdered. They were more than good and lovely people. They were the stalwarts who would show up on time and help out.”

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