Last Shabbos a massacre took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Jew hater Robert Bowers stormed into the synagogue with an AR-15 and shot dead 11 people.
In the aftermath of the great tragedy, rumors swirled regarding the events which took place at the synagogue, namely, that a bris was being held that Shabbos for the child of a toavah couple.
In light of that fact, instead of the gruesome attack leading to Klal Yisroel uniting together to support those who were killed solely for being Jewish, the gossiping led to a division amongst Klal Yisroel and besmirched the reputation of those who died al Kiddush Hashem.
The story sprouted from a pro toavah site, The Advocate, which based their report off of a Facebook post written by the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh that was allegedly verified by three members of the community. Though the Delta Foundation later removed references to the bris after a lack of follow up verification the Advocate’s story remained unedited.
At the Kinnus Shluchim on Sunday, the Chabad shliach of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Yisroel Altein, was asked about the bris rumor during an interview with VIN. Rabbi Altein told the reporter that after speaking to attendees who were present during the attack he believed the story was unsubstantiated.
In an email exchange with VIN News, Rabbi Jeffrey Meyers, spiritual leader of the Tree Of Life synagogue, stated unequivocally that the Advocate report was untrue.
“There was no bris taking place in our synagogue,” Rabbi Meyers said.