Shul Congregation Requests That Pittsburgh Killer’s Life Be Spared

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In this Oct. 27, 2018 photo, Rabbi Eli Wilansky lights a candle after a mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The three congregations sharing space at the Tree of Life synagogue relocated after an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 worshippers. In March 2020, the congregations dispersed from their new locations due to the coronavirus pandemic and switched to virtual services. (Steph Chamber/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

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One of the congregations in the building of the Tree of Life shul in Pittsburgh which was targeted by a gunman in 2018 has asked that the perpetrator’s life be spared, JTA reported.

White supremacist Robert Bowers, 49, killed 11 Jews during the massacre, the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the US.

Bruce Herschlag, the president of Congregation Dor Chadash, sent a letter last week to US Attorney General Merrick Garland with the request, according to a WESA radio report on Friday.

Justice in the ongoing trial of Robert Bowers, 49, should be achieved “in a manner that is both consistent with our religious values and that spares us from the painful ordeal of prolonged legal maneuvering,” Herschlag wrote.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

14 COMMENTS

  1. “Shul Congregation”

    Why is called “Shul” here, when it is actually a non-orthodox Temple?

    It is a non-orthodox Temple, and they don’t represent proper Judaism!

  2. Spoken like a true progressive. Perhaps he should be paroled to kill aghain ??

    Jewish values (& Noahide Law) proscribe the death penalty for murder.

    Meyer M Lieber
    Weslry Hills, NY

  3. Consistent with our religious values means that a murderer (provided there are at least 2 kosher witnesses) is sentenced to death. I’m not sure if warning (hasra’ah) prior to the murder is also mandated. I also don’t know if these laws apply to non-Jews.
    I’m also wondering what is the halacha if a Jew kills a non-Jew? Is he chayav misa?

  4. Justice in the ongoing trial of Robert Bowers, 49, should be achieved “in a manner that is both consistent with our religious values and that spares us from the painful ordeal of prolonged legal maneuvering,” Herschlag wrote.

    Let’s be real here. Hershlag seems to have no idea what religious values are. According to halacha, a mass murderer deserves the death penalty. Please be honest. I understand that your personal morals are against the death penalty. You are certainly entitled to that opinion, but don’t play the Judaism card. My ethics require honesty. It appears that your real reason is that the murderer is not worth our hard earned dollars to make sure that he is executed. This has nothing to do with religion.

  5. I agree with those that say life in prison without parole is both a bigger punishment and has a longer lasting impact then death the death penalty.

  6. “he just killed 11 of us, but please be nice to him”
    Reminds me of how the chachomim wanted to kill bar kamtza because he threatened to maser on the yiden to the romans but one said they shouldn’t… And the rest is history
    Also reminds me for some reason of a comic I saw years ago of Bill Clinton seeing a terrorist holding a bloody knife and saying, “ah think you need a hug”

  7. Bklyntrucker, the death pebalty has a more lasting impact. Wait till this rasha faces the Beis Din sel Maaleh and af ter that Gehinnom, oh boy, then he is really going to regret what he did!!

  8. Bklyntrucker: Perhaps you are indeed correct. But prison does not feature in Torah Law, other than as a holding pen. In fact, it could be classed as a form of torture, or at least, severe abuse. Torah does not recognise torturing or abusing criminals. The death penalty – or any other form of corporal punishment – is meted out solely according to Scriptural decree, and the victim was even sedated beforehand! So: No, prison is not the better option.

  9. On one hand, liberalism, which should be called leftism, is a mental disorder.

    On the other hand if they throw the chaleria in jail and throw away the key, that might be a good thing too. This way they don’t have to go through all the appeals. The problem is what happens in 25 years.