VIDEOS: Trumps Pay Tribute At Synagogue Where 11 Jews Were Massacred; Four Victims Are Buried

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(VIDEOS & PHOTOS THROUGHOUT ARTICLE)

Pittsburgh’s Jewish community began burying its dead Tuesday after the horrific massacre at a synagogue on Shabbos, holding funerals for a beloved family doctor, a pillar of the congregation, and two 50-something brothers known as the Rosenthal “boys.”

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid solemn tribute Tuesday to each of the 11 people slain in the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history. As the Trumps placed their remembrances outside the Tree of Life synagogue, protesters nearby shouted that the president was not welcome.

The Trumps first went inside the vestibule of the synagogue, where they lit candles for each victim before stepping outside. It was a marker of the political divisions roiling the nation in the aftermath of the Shabbos shooting that shouts of “Words matter!” and “Trump, go home!” could be heard from demonstrators gathered not far from where a gunman had opened fire on Saturday.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who had been conducting services when the shots rang out, led the first couple outside and gestured at white Jewish stars posted for each victim. At each, the president placed a stone, a Jewish burial tradition, while the first lady added a flower. They were trailed by first daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who are Jewish.

Trump stepped into the role of national consoler, a title he wears uncomfortably, as he arrived in Squirrel Hill, the neighborhood where he faced an uneasy welcome. Flowers, candles and chalk drawings filled the nearby corner, including a small rock painted with the number “6,000,011,” adding the victims this week to the estimated number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

[Pittsburgh Shooter Was Treated By JEWISH Doctors; Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty as Trial Begins]

When Air Force One touched down at the airport outside Pittsburgh, the Trumps were not greeted by the usual phalanx of local officials that typically welcomes a visiting president, a reflection of controversy surrounding the visit.

The Trumps later spent more than an hour at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where some of the victims are recovering. As his motorcade wound through downtown Pittsburgh, some onlookers saluted the president with upraised middle fingers and others with downturned thumbs, and a sign that said “It’s your fault.” Inside, Trump visited with wounded police officers and spent an hour with the widow of victim Dr. Richard Gottfried, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Sanders said Trump did not speak publicly Tuesday to denounce anti-Semitism because he has spoken about it before.

“He wanted today to be about showing respect for the families and the friends of the victims as well as for Jewish Americans,” Sanders said.

Local and religious leaders were divided on whether Trump should have come.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, told reporters before the visit was announced that the White House ought to consult with the families of the victims about their preferences and asked that the president not come during a funeral. Neither he nor Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf planned to appear with Trump.

The White House invited the top four congressional leaders to join Trump in Pennsylvania, but none accompanied him.

A spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he already had events in his home state of Kentucky, pushing back on the suggestion that he declined. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said he could not attend on short notice. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also opted not to participate.

The victims of the massacre at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh

Earlier in the day, thousands of mourners jammed a synagogue, a Jewish community center and a third, undisclosed site for the first in a weeklong series of funerals for victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein and Cecil and David Rosenthal were among 11 people killed in the shooting rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday. Robert Gregory Bowers, a 46-year-old truck driver who authorities say raged against Jews, was arrested on federal hate-crime charges that could bring the death penalty.

With Tree of Life still cordoned off as a crime scene, more than 1,000 people poured into Rodef Shalom, one of the city’s oldest and largest synagogues, to mourn the Rosenthal brothers, ages 59 and 54.

The two intellectually disabled men were “beautiful souls” who had “not an ounce of hate in them — something we’re terribly missing today,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, a survivor of the massacre, said at their funeral.

Myers, his voice quivering, told the Rosenthals’ parents and other family members: “The entire world is sharing its grief with you, so you don’t walk alone.”

The brothers were widely known as “the boys,” the Rosenthals’ sister, Diane Hirt, noted. “They were innocent like boys, not hardened like men,” she said.

She said Cecil — a gregarious man with a booming voice who was lightheartedly known as the mayor of Squirrel Hall and the “town crier” for the gossip he managed to gather — would have especially enjoyed the media attention this week, a thought that brought laughter from the congregation.

Rabinowitz’s funeral was held at the Jewish Community Center in the city’s Squirrel Hill section, the historic Jewish neighborhood where the rampage took place. Two police vehicles were posted at a side door and two at the main entrance.

A line stretched around the block as mourners — some in white medical coats, some wearing yarmulkes, black hats or head scarves — passed beneath the blue Romanesque arches into the brick building.

The 66-year-old Rabinowitz was a go-to doctor for HIV patients in the epidemic’s early and desperate days, a physician who always hugged his patients as they left his office.

“A lot of people are feeling really angry about this. A lot of rage built up inside about this, because of it being a hate crime. Don’t get me wrong; I do. But I’m so overwhelmed with sadness right now that I can’t even be angry right now,” said Robin Faulkner, whose family had seen Rabinowitz for 30 years and counted him as a dear friend. “It’s just such a loss. Just tragic.”

A private funeral was also held for Stein, the 71-year-old men’s club president at Tree of Life.

The other victims’ funerals have been scheduled through Friday.

[WATCH: ‘I’m Going To Die:’ Survivors Relive Horrors At ‘Tree of Life’ in Pittsburgh]

Among the mourners at the Rosenthal brothers’ funeral was Dr. Abe Friedman, who typically sat in the back row of Tree of Life with the two men but was late to synagogue on Saturday and was not there when the gunman opened fire.

As he stood in line at the funeral, Friedman wondered why he had been spared.

“Why did things fall into place for me?” he asked. “I usually sit in the back row. In the last row, everyone got killed.”

(AP)

19 COMMENTS

  1. “……the Trumps were not greeted by the usual phalanx of local officials that typically welcomes a visiting president, a reflection of controversy surrounding the visit…..”

    Because their despicable agenda is more important than the victims……. More important than respecting the president whom they despise, hate, and lie about . The name Chuck Schumer, that “resist & impeach” Brooklyn, NY pol, pops out like a jack-in-the-box.
    That progressive ‘Bend the Arc’ band , composed of mostly radical Jews are plenty responsible for this.
    This band is supported by Soros’s son.
    Soros, who has driven so much of the anti-Semitic climate in Europe and who himself is a self-hating Jew,
    is best off in Sheol, the sooner the better.
    The non-Jewish citizens should know that the overwhelming majority of Jews are embarrassed by this villain.
    Yemach shemo v’zichro…. May his name be blotted out.

  2. YWN,why do you get leftist reporters? I’m sure there were plenty of Trump supporters there but you only report on the leftists slimes who can’t respect a duly elected President—– the one who incidentally has been the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel in history!

  3. You Jews better realize something- there was a circumcision for twin boys right before the shooting They were ‘sons’ of a two husband marriege, mom’s probably a filipino paid off. How dare you invite the Angel of Circumsision Elijah the Prphet to such a circumcision, who according to chabad.org only got his job because he destroyed people supporting immorality!!!! What hutzpah to desecrate the sabbath twice in the face of Elijah with two idiot dads standing in your holy synagogue! The congregation is complicit

    Elijah stole the body of Barrows and stood uo for morality.

    Jews, don’t blame G-d.Wake up and embrace the moral standards

    A true friend of Israel and the entire Jewish nation

  4. Mr. Dentist,

    Your comment is in such poor taste it is such a chillul hashem and your sinas chinom is showing.

    People had family members killed because of this madman. and you go on to say that it was done by elijah standing up for morality. What a disgrace. Please ask for mechila from everyone that lost a loved one in this heinous act.
    then you preach moral standards? sickening. what about not insulting family members who are suffering through this tragedy of losing their loved ones.
    May hashem have mercy on your soul and may you be zoche to treat all of hashems children with kindness and love.

  5. Whoever blames President Trump for this massacre is extremely ignorant. Whoever blames this on gun control needs to open their eyes. A white man like Bowers can walk into any gun store and buy a firearm without a second glance from the store clerk. For example, Brazil has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world yet there are more than 60,000 murders there per year. So it is pretty obvious that gun control is not the problem yet we are still blaming Trump. He has been the most pro Israel, pro Jewish president ever, but every problem we have we always pin on him because no one else wants to take the blame. If that shul was not full of liberals(not a bad thing) there may have been some people who were armed and the massacre would not have happened. In my shul, I think 7-8 people have legally purchased guns and permits to carry, a shooting like Pittsburgh will not happen in my area. There can be an attempt Chas V’shalom, but the shooter will be riddled with bullets before he steps through the door.

  6. i am reading these comments in Switzerland on such a tragic event which happenend and a cannot believe of what i read while the world is crying.
    Daass torah: I think you should immediately change your user name. This is not “Daass Toire” if you have nothing else in your mind on such a tragedy than making choisek of a Rabbis hat which is not the same than yours. If you are wearing a shtraymel throw it away and make tschuwe. Are you judging jews according their clothing? Shame on you
    Mr. Dentist: shame on you too. Listening to fake news and making a story out of it? Are you on such good terms with Elijah that you know what he is doing? Did he tell you. Who gives you a right to judge people?
    And all the others trying to blaming President Trump on this occasion?
    I just cant believe that I had to read all that on a site called “The Yeshiva World”… I think I am in the wrong movie.
    What happened to you guys????

  7. Zion Gate: you are a disgrace to the Jewish people. You are asserting lies and doubling down on your ignorance. “jemach shemo vezihro”? for a jew? I hold no brief for George Soros but he is a jew that survived the Holocaust and you are espousing the language of the most rabid anti-semites and Nazis that ‘it is the jew’s fault”. You are a repulsive being.

  8. If President Trump falls short of expectations for decency in his mandate then that is between him and the electorate at the ballot box. It is wrong to request of him that he stay away from Pittsburgh and the scene of this act of antisemitic savagery. He is President. He is where he belongs.

    The political rhetoric that has flown through the airwaves from BOTH sides, left and right, is nothing short of disgraceful and unbecoming in the extreme. This is not how grown adults and civilized people communicate. It is how two year olds in the middle of a temper tantrum and in desperate need of a nap and a stern, “OR ELSE!!” behave. And it needs to stop. NOW !!!

    In the meantime… the massacre at Squirrel Hill is the work and the responsibility of one man and one man alone. It came from the corrupt mind of a heart twisted by evil intent that sought to harm a community and its’ people by murdering them exactly where he knew he would find them… at prayer… on Shabbat… in their synagogue.

    Not provocative political words. Not President Trump. Not an avenging Elijah. Not your frum is better than my frum. Just one man and his bitter, twisted, evil heart.

  9. rabbiofberlin,
    Are you out to lunch ?
    I’m not espousing… rather highlighting language used by anti-Semites BECAUSE of Soros.

    I rarely , if ever, use that expression, however in Soros’s case, I’ll double down.
    He’s a Jew in name only,the kind that caused us suffering throughout our history.
    He’s a renegade who disrupted and continues to disrupt the finances of European countries to further his repulsive agenda which is anti-Jewish and has caused massive anti-Semitism for us, and massive chillul Hashem.
    Ask the Hungarian government as just ONE example.. There are others.. … The damage to the Jewish name that he caused is incalculable.
    He’s behind, ( among others) the migration into Europe which will destroy their language and culture.
    He uses his money for fund radical candidates in the USA who are anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American.
    He had some nefarious role in the Hungarian Holocaust helping the Nazis confiscate Jewish property.

    { Read this:
    George Soros himself declared that he was not sorry for “helping in the confiscation of property from the Jews” in the interview done by Steve Kroft for CBS’ 60 Minutes George Soros on December 20, 1998.

    He also added: “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it’s just like in markets–that if I weren’t there–of course, I wasn’t doing it, but somebody else would–would–would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the–whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the–I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt”.}

    So rabbi, you go ahead and call me whatever you want and it won’t change the facts. Facts are stubborn indeed.
    I’m so much more disturbed by what this man is destroying , than your spit-dribble , an anonymous poster using the honorific “rabbi.”

  10. …. Not to mention his contributions to NGOs hostile to the State of Israel.
    J Street, that radical anti-_Israel & anti- Torah values organization is being funded by this evil creature.
    He’s a BDS promoter..
    Just so that you understand… The BDS not only hurts Yidden in EY, but Palestinians who work and make a living in the Shomron & Judea areas, and so he’s hurting everybody.
    Seems like you’re the only one on the planet who doesn’t know this…
    It’s not I, but the Neviim who instituted the malshinim bracha in the Amidah. Do you understand these words when you’re shukkling?
    This guy is even worse than that.

  11. … and here is what I found at chabad.org

    How can you attain love of an infinite G~d? Through love of your fellow human beings.
    That is why Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa would say, “If people like you, G~d likes you too.”
    How did he know?
    Because he knew that if people like you, it must be that you like them. Your love is genuine, and genuine love is always reciprocated.
    And he knew that when you hold genuine love in your heart for all people, then you will come to have genuine love for G~d.
    And that love is also reciprocated.

    -Hayom Yom, 6 Tishrei

    **Dedicated with love to the everlasting memory of Selina Rosen. A woman of blessed and immeasurable worth who taught me what it is to love without condition.

  12. Unfortunately mr.dentist is correct. I have confirmed this information with my friends from Pittsburgh. It is a double tragedy for Yidden.