Rabbi that Survived Poway Synagogue Shooting to Speak Out: Kindness Must Outshine Hatred & Terror
24 Jun 2019
A survivor of the horrific San Diego area synagogue shooting that killed one and wounded three, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is dedicated to fighting back against the epidemic of terrorism. “I do not know why G-d spared my life in my Poway synagogue. All I can do is make this borrowed time matter,” he wrote in a moving New York Times op-ed. Rabbi Goldstein was 15 feet away from the shooter when he saw his dear friend, Lori Kaye gunned down.
Shot in both hands, the rabbi’s first instinct was to help others. “After the massacre in Pittsburgh, we had community training. Now that training kicked in,” he continued. “Somehow, my brain directed my body to the synagogue ballroom, where the children, including two of my grandchildren, were playing. I ran toward them screaming ‘Get out! Get out!’ I grabbed as many as I could with my bloody hands and pushed them out of the building.” Then, after ten horrific rounds had been fired, a miracle occurred and the terrorist’s gun jammed,” he wrote. Two heroic congregants rushed the gunman, forcing him to flee.
Now, working exclusively with APB Speakers, Rabbi Goldstein will donate all proceeds from speaking engagements toward the Chabad of Poway security and renovation fund.
From the editorial pages of The New York Times to the White House and the U.N. General Assembly, he has brought a positive message of shining light against the darkness of antisemitism, intolerance, racism, xenophobia and discrimination. A powerful speaker who spreads hope to audiences of all faiths, Rabbi Goldstein inspires us to face the evil of terrorism by reaching out to one another. By doing acts of kindness, he believes, we will tap into our own divine spark to repair a broken world.