WATCH IT: Texas Reformed Rabbi Held Hostage Thanks Everyone but Hashem After Incident

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The Reform rabbi who was held hostage along with three congregants last Shabbos in Colleyville, Texas, released a statement thanking everyone who expended efforts into the safe resolution of the incident – but failed to remember the One who orchestrated his rescue.

“I am thankful and filled with appreciation for all of the vigils and prayers and love and support, all of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us, all of the security training that helped save us,” Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker wrote on Facebook.

“I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for the CBI community, the Jewish community, the Human Community. I am grateful that we made it out I am grateful to be alive.”

But then the Rabbi went on CBS on Monday morning. and not once in his seven minute interview mentioned G-D.

Perhaps someone needs to polish up his emunah and bitachon credentials.

Unsurprisingly, Cytron-Walker is an anti-Israel, pro-BDS rabbi who has referred to Israel as an “apartheid state.”

The hostage taker, identified as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, was killed Saturday night after the last hostages ran out of Congregation Beth Israel around 9 p.m. The FBI said there was no early indication that anyone else was involved, but it had not provided a possible motive.

The rabbi said Monday that he threw a chair at the gunman and then escaped with two other hostages after a 10-hour standoff, crediting past security training for getting himself and his congregation out safely.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker told “CBS Mornings” that he let the gunman in Saturday because he appeared to need shelter. He said the man was not threatening or suspicious at first. Later, he heard a gun click as he was praying.

Another man held hostage, Jeffrey R. Cohen, described the ordeal on Facebook.

“First of all, we escaped. We weren’t released or freed,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the men worked to keep the gunman engaged. They talked to the gunman, he lectured them. At one point as the situation devolved, Cohen said the gunman told them to get on their knees. Cohen recalled rearing up in his chair and slowly moving his head and mouthing “no.” As the gunman moved to sit back down, Cohen said Cytron-Walker yelled to run.

“The exit wasn’t too far away,” Cytron-Walker said. “I told them to go. I threw a chair at the gunman, and I headed for the door. And all three of us were able to get out with even a shot being fired.”

On the synagogue website it has the following Bío of the Rabbi:

Rabbi Charlie attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem and Cincinnati campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 2006 and M.A. in Hebrew Letters in 2005. His rabbinical thesis was titled, “Jewish Service-Learning: Integrating Talmud Torah and Ma’asim Tovim”. As a student, he served congregations in Ishpeming, MI, Fort Walton Beach, FL, and Cincinnati, OH. During his time at HUC-JIR, he received multiple awards for his service to the community, along with an award for leadership from QESHET: A Network of LGBT Reform Rabbis.

Since Rabbi Charlie arrived at CBI he has worked to bring a sense of spirituality, compassion, and learning into the lives of our community. He loves finding a connection with people of every age and strives to carry forward the CBI tradition of welcoming all who enter into our congregation, from interfaith families to LGBT individuals and families to those seeking to find a spiritual home in Judaism, along with all others.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC / AP)


80 COMMENTS

  1. Let it go…he is reform and speaks a different language than frum yidden. We should just be happy they all were released safely, knowing that the Ebeshter worked with a very highly skilled FBI team to save them from the terrorist. Let them believe what they want. We know that the terrorist simply wanted a “shul” near the federal prison and DFW. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it had been a chabad house or a frum shul, the outcome would have been the same.

  2. Let’s please go easy on this fellow who is obviously a tinok shnishba. What about all the yeshiva-educated people reading this who pride ourselves as if we would never do this. Did we all have kavanah when we said birchos hashachar or modim this morning? Does G-d need to put a gun to OUR heads in order for us to thank him?

  3. i have never been more disgusted to be chareidi than i have watching YWN cover this story. The neshama of this man is no different than yours. he too is a chelek elokai memaahl. you stood at har sinai together, unfortunately you will prob NOT be greeting moshiach together because whereas he executed his humanitarian will to save lives and make a kiddush Hashem, you willfully do the opposite with your sinas chinam. This man is a hero for saving lives. His neshama is not dependent on him following your definition of Torah and mitzvos, or emunah and bitachon. Whether or not you agree or disagree with his “brand of judaism” you should still feel tzaar when jews are taken hostage and relief when they are released unharmed. (even if they are reform) I believe, from this interview. that this man represented our people well. His politics, congregation, religous level are between him and GD. The fact that this sentiment goes out on social media to the Umos Haolam is so damaging, you cannot imagine…

  4. Why are you obsessed with the fact that he didnt thank hashem? What does it make a difference to you? Most non jews are more sympathetic to this situation than you. its a disgusting chillul hashem

  5. Thank you for sharing the video.
    You can see the guy is in shock.
    “Few people in person and” the rest by Facebook I assume.
    IF YOU CAN FOR ONE MINUTE STOP BEING ANTAGONIST AND SHOW YOUR HATE AND BE SYMPATHETIC FOR THIS GUY WHO OBVIOUSLY LOOKS VERY YOUNG and say “I love you. I am glad you are safe”.
    I got this massage from a POST FROM LEADING RABBI. Frum Rabbi telling a story from a Rebbe in Haifa who’s Shul was next to a clothing store that was open on Shabbes.
    After consulting with his Rebbe the rabbi went and told the Chiloni “Good Shabbes. I love you “. After 6 months the chiloni closed his shop on Shabbes…
    Stop the Sinas Chinam.
    Instead of seeing the ugly see the beauty of the Neshama.
    No wonder why the Jews are still suffering. With hate like this we are back 2000 years.
    Who needs Hitler? Who needs Hamas?

    I Only love the Jew who wear velvet yamaka? Because I wear velvet and black hat? The rest are Goim? The Rest are Am Haaretz. The Rest are Shegatssim.
    I Only love the Jew who wear Shtrimel?….
    I Only love the Jew who wear knitted Kippas?…..

    STOP THIS NONSENSE
    EVEN IF ITS PRINTED ON YWN.

  6. Hes a self proclaimed Rabbi. Reform are Jews at heart. Observe nothing and believe in themselves. While Im awfully happy that G D RESCUED HIM, and am offended by his choice of words, cuz even a gentile wld thank G d, I wish all human beings well.
    Id rather daven for him than be upset. Reform is the worst fringe of yidishkeit as he just proved it.

  7. 1) Your slandering a terror victim for what he says on an interview a day after being kept hostage. Have you ever been in his shoes? That goes against every torah ethic I can think of.
    2) The interviewers clearly never let him finish his thoughts so how can you judge from this little clip?
    Lastly, what are you trying to accomplish? If you want to prevent people from going reform by posting this outrageous “news item”, your causing the opposite effect and making a chillul hashem.

  8. Looks like these guys indeed had training how to behave in terrorist situation and were brave to go for a run when it was possible. Hard to say whether they took huge risk and would have been better waiting for professionals to act. I would bet that he davened with more kavana than most of us at the time he was there, though – and his prayers were answered. He is obviously excited at his own acts, so he is talking like the guy davening for the parking spot and then saying “disregard, I found one myself”.

  9. I never understood.. can someone please explain me?
    Why would any non-religious jew choose to “practice judaism” in a reform way (go to temple, say their services, etc.) and go bedavka against everything real yiddishkeit/torah stands for?
    Why wouldn’t they just live a “free” completely secular life and “stay out of the way”?

  10. @YeshivaWorldEditors.

    You guys are the WOOOOOOOOOOORST.

    And when Hashem asks you after 120 how you could possibly be mitzapeh yeshua, while actively driving a wedge between Jews, you will have no answers. And it’s sad! But you just bring this upon yourselves.

    Stop ruining good things for everyone else. You guys are consistently. THE WOOOOOOORST of our beautiful yeshiva world.

  11. Rabbi? Why do you refer to their leader as rabbi?
    I know some people who go to reform. Most are very nice people and feel a connection to what little they know. Even the so-called rabbi here is a tinok shenishba.

  12. YWN, Hitler, yemach shmo, did no distinguish between Jews. Although what you wrote is nebach true, leave your polemics out of the public forum.

  13. Where have you been for the last few generations? Reform doesn’t hold by the existence a Creator. At this point, a large percentage are non-Jews (meaning no matrilineal line of Jewish ancestry).

  14. I am absolutely disgusted with this article. The only thing that gives me solace is the fact that there are like-minded people in the comments that are willing to call out this despicable sinas chinam. This needs to be taken down immediately!! What a disgrace.

  15. Why is everyone assuming this man is Jewish? He may be, he may not be. Either way, we are all very thankful to Hashem that he and the other humans he was with are now free.

  16. To all the idiots above (not everyone, just the idiots): Please cease your massive amhaaratzus. Really, this is getting out of hand! Whether or not YWN was right in their coverage and/or if this guy is a tinok shenishba and/or a good person… it is FALSE that we should not distinguish between Jews! You guys are fools! Learn a little Halacha! Do you care about Halacha anyway?! If someone is not bichlall amisecha (and again, I am not commenting about if he is or isn’t bichlall amiseinu) then we are obligated black on white to view and treat him DIFFERNTLY! Gosh…

  17. At least this guy is honest, he doesn’t believe in God, so why should he lie?

    As opposed to a lot of so called frum people including ones calling themselves Rabbi or Rosh Yeshiva’s who talk about God 24/7, but deep down have absolutely no EMUNAH,and behave in private exactly as an atheist would, and unfortunately in last few years we had numerous examples of that.
    we all know quiet a few of these guys.

  18. Hillel said, “Be one of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving creatures and drawing them near to the Torah.” Even those who are far from G‑d’s Torah and His service, for which reason they are classified simply as “creatures” — indicating that the fact that they are G‑d’s creation is their only virtue — even those one must attract with strong cords of love

  19. YWN, you really need to brush up on your torah knowledge- The eirav rav/the galus we are currently in, are comprised of the “top people” of yisrael, who direct and tell klal yisrael what to do.

    You, are the ones telling Klal Yisrael, WATCH: this video WATCH THIS: that video. You guys are pretty blind to your own chutzpah.

    You are also the ones telling everyone what all the gedolim say. Think about it. How else would we know what ‘they’ have to say?

    Anyhoo….

    so you guys are the ones trying to bring separation and complaining amongst klal yisrael, by bringing this can of words to the front page.
    What, do you think we are so blind and forgetful that we don’t realize that in these parshiyos, the eirav rav are trying to get klal yisrael to complain and fight?

    This is pretty much all you guys do, is cause klal yisrael to have inward sinas chinam.

  20. Shocking.

    No not YWN.

    These comments.

    Since when do you need to be nice and loving to a kofer batorah? Really? Did Reb Elchonon Wasserman hy’d or the Chofetz Chaim ever mince words when cursing these reshoyim aruruim out?

    Dont “tinok sheshba” me about these reshoyim.

  21. YWN, just wait until these animals get their way and hijack the Kosel. YWN will publish articles and the comments will say “let’s embrace them”…. “no sinat chinam”…. “lets have some ahavat chinam”…. lets embrace our brothers.

    Feh!

  22. From another site:
    “But Cytron-Walker was able to steal brief moments for reflection, silently praying the Sh’ma and offering the Hashkiveinu: “Grant, O God, that we lie down in peace, and raise us up, our guardian, to life renewed. Spread over us the shelter of your peace.” So it seems like every Jewish soul, he believes in G-d.

  23. For heaven’s sake, he’s a terror victim! Why are you coming after him? Please, criticize Reform all you want, but this person isn’t trying to outlaw mechitzos or something. He’s not bothering our community- in fact, what happened to his place of worship could easily happen to ours. Leave him alone! Publishing this is a massive chillul Hashem and lashon hara!

  24. Yashar and all those who claim to know about the halachos of tinok nishbah: Check out

    Chazon Ish YD 1:6
    Igrot Moshe OC 4:91:6
    Binyan Tzion Chadashot 2:23, Rav SR Hirsch (Collected Writings), Bet Yitzchak YD 2:23 kuntres acharon, EH 2:65, Melamed Lhoil 29, Achiezer 3:25, Maharsham 1:121, Zakan Aharon 1:55, Igrot Reyia 1:138, Shoel Vnishal 3:116, Chazon Ish 1:6, Rav Henkin in Teshuvot Ivra 8:2, Minchat Yitzchak 6:34, Rav Sheinberg (Tzorar v. 2 p. 59-60), Shevet Halevi 8:165:1, 2:172, Yabia Omer OC 7:15, YD 1:11:16, Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 2 p. 286), Teshuvot Vehanhagot 2:460, Minchat Asher 1:10:5

  25. Let’s put it in simple terms. Let’s say you were the SWAT team sharpshooter on that shabbos and you had the terrorist in your sights before these Jews escaped. Would you be allowed to be michalel shabbos and pull the trigger to save their lives?

    Check out Yabia Omer OC 10:54
    Rav Elyashiv (Yashiv Moshe p. 46)
    Chazon Ish YD 2:16
    Rav Chaim Soloveitchik (Avodot Vehanhagot Lbet Brisk v. 2 p. 266 )

  26. Yes, so sad that this yid knows so little of the beauty and dignity of Yiddishkeit that he doesn’t thank HASHEM.

    I have an idea!!

    Let’s SHOW him that beauty and dignity of Yiddishkeit — and forward him a link to this YWN article and let him read the comment section!!!

    Um, now that I think of it, probably not a good idea.

    Sorry.

  27. I hate to say this, but the reform have allowed intermarriage for a number of generations now. so who is to say who in a reform temple is truly jewish? just a thought…

  28. Of course we don’t accept their ways or sympathize. He is no Rabbi. His synagogue is no synogogue. He is a rosho without doubt. Did anyone read about the female “rabbi ” who is his superior?
    So you all feel sorry for them. Nebech, they don’t know better! If someone commits murder do you feel sorry for him? These people are anti Torah, anti Jewish and possibly not even Jewish. Hashem sent them a warning. They should take heed. They do not keep any Torah and mitzvos and do everything to go against Torah. Wake up everyone! The reform are not our brothers.

  29. What a DISGUSTING article.
    Something that Chaim Walder and his supporters would write.
    Makes me feel sick to be associated with chareidim when I see an article like this.

  30. There is something seriously, significantly wrong with most of these commenters and with YWN.
    Over half of reform Jews are halachically Jews. Al pi rov, we would assume (and then do investigations because we’re not idiots) that they’re Jewish.
    Disregarding all that, the first thing you think of is whether they’re halachically Jewish. If a US Embassy in Pakistan was held hostage, y’all would be talking about how terrible the Muslims are, not about whether they’re Jewish or not.
    I wonder if the gunman looked into whether the synagogue was halachically kosher…

  31. while attacking a guy just because he happened to become a hostage is inappropriate, an interesting question is raised here: can we consider a Reform person, or even, clergy, a tinok shebanishba. You can probably figure it out by testing how informed they are about their religious choices. I met people, for example, who

    – do not know why their places of worship are called temples. I rented a room from a guy who was asking whether I am going to the temple. I was answering week after week that I am going to shul. When I finally explained to him the difference and that the temple is due to denial of Beis Hamikdash (to quote: “this temple (Hamburg/South Carolina) is our temple”), he was shocked.
    – another one started speeding to make sure I get home on Friday by 5pm during summer – because he was sure Shabbat starts same time as their services do – 5 pm throughout the year.

    Are people like that really reshoyim? I don’t know how many are learned in what, but you can ask them a couple of questions and find out before making assumptions.

  32. re: comment on worship. I believe anyone in the world is allowed to pray in our shuls (not with their service, of course). We do not ask for IDs.

  33. Rabbi Avigdor Miller on reform Jews :

    Are the Reform Jews justified when they write or say that the Orthodox Jews hate them?

    A:
    I can’t tell you – I don’t know what all Orthodox Jews are thinking. But this Orthodox Jew over here – I despise them. I don’t hate them, I despise them. Yes, I despise them. Reform Jews are willing to do all kinds of wicked things. If you can have a rabbi, a Reform rabbi who is gay, is there anything worse than that?! The New York Times wrote “The Baltimore Hebrew Congregation is proud to welcome their new Rabbi – him and his partner”. And you want to love them?! You want to love a snake? I don’t even understand what the question is. You despise them! What’s the question?! That’s a rabbi?! He’s a mushchas! And they honor that man?! It’s terrible.

    And the Reform rabbis are pressing that gay marriage should be permitted. They are at the forefront of the movement. It’s a terrible thing. These reshaim are ruining America. Even the Christians are saying, “What’s going on here? These are Jews?! Look at what the Jews are doing to America”.

    So what should we do, love them? What’s the question? What’s even the question?

    Q:
    Well, my question is, that maybe we should hate their deeds, what they do, but not them?

    A:
    Look, when we talk about reshaim we don’t make such a palginan diburah. No lomdus. If he’s a rasha, a low rasha, you hate him. Imagine, a man is a gay and he stands up with a little prayer shawl around his neck as the Rabbi. Are you just going to hate his deeds – and you’ll love him personally?!! You’re making a joke out of it?
    TAPE # E-265 (March 2001)

  34. YWN knows such a headline will cause a stir, and consequently many more people spending that much more time on the site (myself no exception), translating into higher revenue. There is something IMO unethical about it, but you know, YNW has it’s business tactics…and I’m not judging, just pointing out. YNW does this sort of thing ALL THE TIME.

  35. his entire mahus was a kiddish hashem. he acted sincere and humble and is a role model. thats my opinion. stop with your religiosity and serve hashem like a human

  36. i would bet that tons of good came out of this. plenty of people seeing a good caring person that wasn’t looking to blame or find fault. so much goodwill was generated as is abundantly clear from the interviews. Why try to find fault? why? who are we to judge? Disagreements, often over small matters, lead to discord and even war. If people can learn how to disagree with each other and yet be respectful, the world would be a much better
    place. זוֹנוֹת מְפַרְכְּסוֹת זוֹ אֶת זוֹ, תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים לֹא כָּל שֶׁכֵּן??

  37. to all the people saying feh to these reform people.
    All you have to ask yourself is, did you say serves them right when they were being held hostage? did you say that you hope they die?

    or is it only since yeshiva worlds article did you start getting riled up?

    EXACTLY
    bottom line is, reform may be very misguided and damaging, but YWN brings separation between ALL jews, even within frum yiddishe instances, they spread hate and separation.

  38. Whatiswrongwrithyou1234 claims that “Over half of reform Jews are halachically Jews”. Where did you get such a statistic? What makes you assume such a thing? On the contrary, it’s obviously that the majority are NOT Jews. A significant minority still are Jews, so it would be permitted to break Shabbos in order to rescue them, and especially since there were four of them so there’s a good chance that at least one was a Jew, but each individual is more likely to be a goy than a Jew.

  39. Yikes. How are you not embarrassed to publish this horrendous chillul Hashem of an article? How many lives did YOU save today, in between taking shots at other Jews about their lack of bitachon (right after they escaped from a hostage situation)? The SINAS CHINAM on display here—for all the world to see—is beyond disgusting. How do the editors even allow a “news story” like this to remain up for more than 3 seconds? Does it take longer to realize how outrageous and inappropriate this is? That would be genuinely newsworthy!

  40. Unbelievable. Supposedly frum Jews are defending a fake “Rabbi” who does not believe in Hashem as the majority of reform Jews do not believe in Hashem ( only 18% of reform Jews believe in Hashem) , does not believe in the divine origin of the Torah and is in all probability not even Jewish according to halacha. All we hear about is the ridiculous mantra of “spreading hate” but these supposedly frum Jews don’t care about the spread of chillul Hashem!

  41. אותו האלוהים שהציל אותו מידי המחבל גם נתן לו להכנס לבית הכנסת, להפחיד את הציבור בצורה אלימה ולקחת אותם בני ערובה למשך 11 שעות. אולי הרב כועס על הקב”ה בגין זה?

  42. This article was written with the sole intention to drive a rift between klal yisrael. I wonder how productive that is and hope that sits well with YWN on YK

  43. Regardless of which side of this argument you fall, this article was written with the sole intention to drive a rift between klal yisrael. I wonder how productive that is and hope that sits well with YWN on YK

  44. To Milhouse: Did you ever rescue anybody? If so, please describe the event(s). And just to be clear, if I am hit by a car on Shabbos, I will not be hoping that you are around to help me.

  45. The reason we are still in galus is not because we don’t learn enough Torah. It’s not because of lack of tznius. It’s not because we don’t give enough Tzedaka. It’s not because we don’t daven enough or with enough sincerity.

    It is because of posts like this.

  46. How is it hate to hold a “Rabbi” accountable for thanking God for saving their lives?!! You don’t understand what being a Yid is all about! If you condemn this article then liberalism has taken a hold of your hearts and skewed you hashkafas!

  47. IF YWN is looking for some PR (albeit negative PR), they certainly accomplished its goal with the publication of this terrible article. Thanks for giving Orthodox Judaism a bad name.

  48. Philosopher you are 100 per cent right!
    It seems like many here could not care about כבוד שמים. If a so called Rabbi cannot stand up and publicly thank Hashem after all the publicity he received, he is warped. That is a chilul Hashem. Nobody is saying we are happy they were taken as hostages. We are not.
    However we are not supposed to side with reform rabbis. Could be some congregants are misguided individuals as someone mentioned above but the rabbi is a mushchas, a rosha and doesn’t deserve our sympathy.
    So side with Hashem only!

  49. Judge a man by what he does, not what he says.

    This Jewish leader didn’t just speak ill of Israel and labeled it apartheid. He supported BDS.

    This Jewish leader didn’t just express an opinion against gun possession for protection of his place of worship. He prohibited his congregants from protecting themselves.

    This Jewish leader didn’t just profess goyish ideas. He live-streams it on Shabbat.

  50. @Rocky: I know you were addressing many comments at once, but I was a little shocked that you specifically mentioned me. I CLEARLY WROTE that I was not getting involved in whether they are to bichlall amisecha and tinokos shenishbi’u! Although they may be… I guess we’ll decide when we finish looking up all your sources in a few years, lol. But I was simply saying that it’s terrible that people are so horribly uneducated regarding hilchos ahavas yisroel and Loshon hora as displayed by many commenters above who seem to not be making any lomdishe distinctions: the worst commenter is the one above who said something like, “Hitler didn’t differentiate, so…” What terrible stupidity: Who do you want to pick? Hitler or the Chofetz Chaim?!?! We need to stop buying into stupid tag lines like that from silly speeches of am haaratzim that people hear… honestly… So, to sum it up, of course IF THEY ARE TINOKOS SHENISHBI’U – and I don’t know if they are, ayein all your beautiful sources I’m sure – then fine! But IF THEY ARE NOT… then we need to be mevateil our western stupid fluffy daas to the daas of Seder Chofetz Chaim!

  51. Aside from the ignorant absurdity and sinas chinam, this is 𝑭𝑨𝑳𝑺𝑬. He did mention & thank God in many interviews, speeches, etc. Some of which I will link to. Growing up Yeshivish I was taught all the bigotry expressed here about non-charadi Jews (including modern Orthodox). When I finally got out of the insular “teyvah” of the Yeshiva I was shocked by the high level of spirituality in much of the non-charadi world, in many cases even more so than many charadim.

    “𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝑮𝒐𝒅 — 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝑮𝒐𝒅. 𝑰𝒕 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒔𝒐 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒔𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒕𝒓𝒖𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆”

    https://nypost.com/2022/01/18/texas-rabbi-returns-to-lead-prayer-service/

    https://abc17news.com/news/national-world/cnn-national/2022/01/18/rabbi-credits-training-courses-for-survival-after-being-held-hostage-at-a-texas-synagogue-for-nearly-11-hours/

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/17/us/colleyville-texas-synagogue-hostage-situation-monday/index.html

    Some additional quotes:
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/rabbi-held-hostage-gunman-leads-prayer-service-texas/story?id=82312760
    https://forward.com/news/480928/beth-israel-hostage-standoff-charlie-cytron-walker
    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/rabbi-held-hostage-gunman-leads-021108604.html

    MODERATORS NOTE: Every quote with the word god was said by the Rabbi at least nine hours after YWN published this article (at an event held inside a Church.) YWN mentioned his Facebook post and his first interview on CBS. His interfaith event held at a Church was around 9 or 10 hours later that evening.

  52. What a Chilul Hashem. He was absolutely heroic in a crisis situation, and YWN uses this as an opportunity to publicly criticise him for not using the words that they wanted him to use? Besides for how bad this makes us look, don’t you realize how disgusting this was? What exactly is the point anyways? Are we that upset when someone non-Orthodox does something good that we need to make sure there is some flaw so we can retain our self centered feelings of piety? Are we that insecure? And we need to portray this to the world? Uch. This made me sick. You refuse to mention names of accused deviants in the name of loshon hara, but we need to make sure to publicize a heroic non-Orthodox rabbi who didn’t thank God in the interview that YWN happened to find?

    And for the record, it has been reported that in his speeches, the rabbi praised the congregants who were held captive with him, paying tribute to their bravery and positivity throughout their entire ordeal. He said: “We are not saying the mourners Kaddish this evening thank God, thank God it could have been so much worse.” So, not only was this article a horrible statement in general, it was also ridiculously poor journalism and makes us look like liars too! Unless we need to put out an article criticizing him for saying thank God twice. I mean atheism and polytheisim? How much better can it get? If we’re going to take all the other Jews down, let’s go scorched earth!

  53. He didn’t thank השם‎ … publicly. But if I was a betting man, I’d lay it all on the line that there was plently of thanks to השם‎.

    I’m not frum. My Jewish education was modest, certainly meager compared to most anyone reading my comment here. As such, I may be jumping down an intellectual rabbit hole.

    But it seems to me that if one believes השם‎ saved them, would it not follow that השם‎ sent a terrorist to his synagogue?

    השם‎ is responsible for what people do, or השם‎ is not.

  54. All you liberals out there, did you see what the moderator wrote. He attended an event inside a church! What a tzaddik, what a kidush Hashem! Are you still saying that?! Shame on you then!!

  55. BTW in this video interview he does thank Hashem (or at least say thank G-d, twice)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W81pWSpopAM

    MODERATORS NOTE: Every quote with the word god was said by the Rabbi at least nine hours after YWN published this article (at an event held inside a Church – two days after the attack). YWN mentioned his Facebook post and his first interview on CBS done on the morning after. This CNN interview was three days later.

  56. Mark Ira Kaufman : Hashem is not responsible for what people do. We are given free choice and therefore a person is responsible for his choices. Hashem gives us the ability to carry out what we choose. Shame you don’t learn more about our

  57. I’m surprised that YWN didn’t out out a scathing criticism of Achiezer, Hatzala, Shomrim, Chaverim, and Misaskim for thanking everyone but Hashem.

    https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/featured/1999337/jewish-organizations-release-letter-thanking-nypd-and-volunteers-for-outstanding-search-efforts.html

    MODERTORS NOTE: Jonathan, why not at least post the video of the father (or the non Jewish NYPD Chiefs saying “this is a blessing from GOD”) thanking GOD in his first sentence https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/featured/2000782/hakoras-hatov-shomrim-hatzolah-misaskim-achiezer-and-family-of-yosef-shapiro-thanks-nypd-for-help-in-massive-search-videos-photos.html

  58. If you cared about honesty and Kelal Yisrael, your corrections would be in a follow-up article or errata on this one. Not just in defensive replies on the comment chain.