The shock waves from this past weekend’s standoff at a Texas synagogue is still being felt by Jews across the country, including here in Lebanon County.
Four people were held at gunpoint by a deranged British Muslim seeking the release of a female Pakistani terrorist from a nearby federal prison for over eleven hours.
Ironically, the Texas synagogue shares the same nme – Congregation Beth Israel – as Lebanon’s synagogue on South 8th Street.
Rabbi Samuel Yolen tells the Lebanon Valley Daily News that Saturday’s standoff remains very raw to many Jews and requires much more research and inquiry:
This is just the latest attack on American Jews, others include the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, the 2019 attack at a synagogue in Poway, California and a 2019 shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City, New Jersey.
While extremism has no particular ethnic identity, Rabbi Yolen says there’s no denying that Jewish people are bearing much of this hate:
But rather than causing Jews to shy away from participating their faith, these incidents are bringing many observant Jews back to the synagogue:
Rabbi Yolen says all Jews must take personal and synagogue security very seriously but can’t let these attacks stop them from the free and open exercise of their faith.