PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rabbi Jeffrey Myers is condemning violence against people of the Jewish faith following an attack over the weekend at a Chanukah celebration in New York.
The knife ambush happened Saturday night at the home where more than 100 Orthodox Jews were gathered, reports CBS News’ Tom Hanson. Witnesses said a man stormed in with a weapon and his face covered.
Five people were stabbed, including a rabbi’s son and an elderly man who is now in critical condition.
Over the weekend, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the attack an act of “domestic terrorism.”
Now, the leader of the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh says we “cannot allow terror to win.”
“For me, it was a ‘oh no, not again’ sort of moment, combined with the flurry of anti-Semitic violence that you’ve heard has been taking place in New York over the past three weeks,” Rabbi Myers told CNN in an interview Monday. “It made me sort of wonder… I don’t recall them selling licenses to have open hunting season on Jews. But it sure can make Jews feel that way.”
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The attacks in New York and the one here in Pittsburgh, now more than a year ago, are part of a national rise in anti-Semitic incidents and harassment.
“It sure makes you pause and wonder what’s going on it our society that people feel they have the God-given right to attack any human being for whatever reason they choose to,” said Rabbi Myers.
Still, Rabbi Myers says he is not afraid. Instead, he says he feels angry and is calling for an end to hate speech.
“No, I’m not afraid; I’m not foolish, but I just feel outrage at this spade of violence that is unacceptable,” he said. “It’s un-American; that’s not what America is about.”
He released this statement over the weekend:
“The Tree of Life is horrified and saddened by the attack in a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, as they were celebrating Chanukah. This continued spate of anti-Semitic violence in the New York area and around the country is deeply disturbing. Chanukah, which is known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rights of a minority community to observe in freedom, while this attack is an attempt to extinguish the light and remove those rights. In the spirit of Chanukah, our light will continue to shine.
“We call upon all good people to work together to remove this evil from existence. We must eliminate H* in its simplest form by getting to know our neighbors and fellow human beings.
(H* refers to “hate” speech.)”