A Massachusetts rabbi urged his congregation to bring guns to Shabbat — claiming their thoughts and prayers are not enough to save them during a mass shooting, according to the New York Post.
What We Know:
- Rabbi Dan Rodkin, of Shaloh House in Boston, pointed out the rise in domestic extremism and hate crimes in recent years as his reasoning for making such a demand. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is what he mentioned specifically. “We can’t think, ‘I’m just praying, and God will save me,’ ” said Rodkin in an interview with WBUR.
- The synagogue shooting suspect in Pittsburgh, Robert Bowers, allegedly shouted “all Jews must die” before entering the place of worship and killing 11 people last October. Additionally, there was a synagogue shooting in California as recently as April.
- Neal Gold, president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, told WBUR that he doesn’t agree with Rodkin’s idea, but understands his point of view. “We were living on blessed time before, but conversations are happening now that we have to be aware of who is coming through our doors,” Gold said.
- Despite the improvement of safety measures with security cameras, reinforced glass windows and panic buttons, Rodkin still worries that a gunman could harm his members. Rodkin told the radio station that he wants to respect his religion, but also wants to keep his worshippers safe.
- Another rabbi shares the same feeling as Rodkin. Rabbi Raziel Cohen, who calls himself the “Tactical Rabbi,” is teaching workshops about community defense. He insists that only people with advanced training can carry guns in a synagogue.
Do you think people should be allowed to bring guns in places of worship?