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The heroes of Chabad of Poway

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https://nypost.com/2019/04/28/the-heroes-of-chabad-of-poway/

 

The heroes of Chabad of Poway

 

 

Saturday’s attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue saw at least two clear heroes: Lori Gilbert-Kaye, killed while shielding the congregation’s rabbi, and Almog Peretz, wounded while shepherding children to safety. Such spirit is why terror will not win.

 

 

Gilbert-Kaye, 60, had gone to synagogue on Passover’s final day intending to remember her late mother in the Yizkor service for the departed. As gunman John Earnest opened fire, she intercepted bullets aimed at Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein.

 

 

Peretz, an Israeli attending with family, was already escorting several children to an exit when he veered to gather in one more. That’s when the terrorist clipped him in the leg.

 

 

Rabbi Goldstein, hit in one hand, and 8-year-old Noya Dahan, wounded by shrapnel, were the only others injured.

 

 

Another miracle: The killer attacked while most children were out of the line of fire, since that part of the service was only for those who had lost a parent.

 

 

Then, too, the shooter’s gun jammed after just a few shots. Providence? The carelessness of a young man focused only on his hate and his sick race-war theories? Count it as both, and also cheer the congregants who then engaged him and forced him to flee.

 

 

Earnest’s online manifesto claims he was inspired by last month’s horrific attack on New Zealand mosques, which “showed me that it could be done. And that it needed to be done.” Indeed he apparently set fire to an Escondido, Calif., mosque a week or so after Christchurch.

 

 

But he chose to target Jews for his massacre attempt six months to the day of the slaughter at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, and his manifesto launches into an anti-Semitic diatribe — grim reminders that anti-Semitism is still the No. 1 hate crime in America, even as the ancient scourge remains a global phenomenon.

 

 

Yet Tree of Life is still thriving, and Chabad of Poway will, too. Heroism, vigilance and decency can’t prevent these horrors. But the love and community strength behind such virtues will never be defeated.

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