California rabbi wounded in synagogue attack calls for moment of silence in schools

“We need to go back to the basics and introduce a moment of silence in all public schools,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein stated at the White House.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Five days after an anti-Semitic gunman shot and wounded him, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway stood side-by-side with President Donald Trump on Thursday, thanking him for his support.

“I should have been dead by now,” Rabbi Goldstein said at a prayer service held at the White House. “I was in the line of fire, bullets flying all the way.”

President Trump greeted the rabbi, who noticeably had both hands bandaged after the shooting. The rabbi’s fingers were badly injured, including the loss of an index finger.

“We will fight with all our strength and everything that we have in our bodies to defeat anti-Semitism,” the president said. “As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and ensure that all people and all of our people can live, pray and worship in peace.”

The rabbi, who was delivering a sermon on the final day of Passover at the time of the shooting, said that we can’t control situations. However, he added, we can control our reactions and respond to darkness with light.

“My fingers got blown off, but I did not stop. My life has changed forever. But it changed so I can make change,” Rabbi Goldstein said, calling for a moment of silence in public schools as a first step.

“Many have asked me, ‘Where do we go from here? How do we prevent this? My response is what my Rebbe told me when President Ronald Reagan was shot, that we need to go back to the basics and introduce a moment of silence in all public schools,” he suggested.

“Mr. President, when you called me, I was at home weeping,” he continued. “You were the first person who began my healing. You heal people in the worst of times, and I’m so grateful for that.”

On Wednesday, in his first court appearance, John T. Earnest pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder in the shooting that killed congregant Lori Kaye, 60, and injured three others, including the rabbi, at the Chabad of Poway synagogue on the last day of Passover. He also pleaded not guilty to burning a mosque last month in nearby Escondido.