Pittsburgh's rabbi Meyers speaks out on being pleasantly surprised by Trump's visit to the city
CNN News interviewed Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers about President Trump's visit to his synagogue. He said the President's behavior was something America has never seen.
According to the Western Journal, Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue saw a visit from President Donald Trump and his wife Melania earlier this week. Meyers spoke to the reporter about what happened, but he kept some things personal.
“I was privileged to have a private 15 or 20 minutes with the (Trump) family. The president was very warm, very consoling," he said.
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Meyers and several others witnessed the tragic death of 11 persons when a gunman walked through their doors last Saturday.
Meyers described the President's first question to him as somewhat unexpected:
“He put his hand on my shoulder and the first question he asked me was, ‘Rabbi, tell me how are you doing?’
"And I must say throughout the time we spent together I was pleasantly surprised by a warm and personal side to the president that I don’t think America has ever seen."
Meyers then went into more details about what he and Donald spoke about:
“I told my personal story of my experience, which they found quite shocking and upsetting.”
Meyers said he also told the President that "hate speech has no place in our society, that hate speech leads to actions of hate."
“And we shared other personal conversation that I’d respectfully like to keep personal.”
The rabbi of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh said he was "surprised by a warm and personal side" to President Trump during their meeting this week https://t.co/gHknKcwGqI pic.twitter.com/dev6j6j1u6— CNN (@CNN) November 1, 2018
Meyers did inform the reporter that he gave Donald "a bit of a background story about each person because it was a human being who lives, who was a good, decent person and the president needed to know something about these people because they, too, were his citizens."
Regarding what he endured on Saturday, Meyers stated:
"It’s seared in my brain and it’s a sight I’ll never forget the rest of my life."
The devastating sight was left by a truck driver and anti-Semitic 46-year-old named Robert Bowers. Earlier today, he pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against him.
“The president was very warm, very consoling, put his hand on my shoulder, and the first question he asked me was, ‘Rabbi, tell me how are you doing.’” https://t.co/4IFcu9HVCS— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) November 1, 2018
The grand jury issued a 44-count indictment that could put Bowers on death row if he is convicted. Charges include murder, hate crimes, obstruction of religious practice and more.
Michael Novara is one of Bowers' federal public defenders for the case. He said the not guilty plea is "typical at this stage of the proceeding."
But for the survivors and their families, it may sound ludicrous. Joseph Charny and Augie Sirian both saw bodies while they hid during the ordeal.
Pittsburgh Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers has received backlash from the left for saying President Trump is welcome to visit #TreeOfLife synagogue.— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) October 30, 2018
He says he's received so many hateful emails that he’s lost count. https://t.co/ukxMm3LHMR pic.twitter.com/xlaQvsBroe
One congregant was on the phone with 911. Thankfully he used an older phone without lights that would give away his location.
Another member was close to escaping. Then his friends saw the shooter cover him with bullets.
The shooter himself got shot by police before surrendering after 11:00 am and reportedly telling one officer that "all these Jews need to die."
Right after the shooting, reporters flocked to Pittsburgh at the sight of the attack to give firsthand accounts of what was going on.
One can hope the rabbi's word about avoiding hate speech resonates with others and such a horrendous attack never happens again.
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