FAKE NEWS! Rumors Of A Bris At The Tree Of Life Synagogue Confirmed As False

37

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.

{Matzav.com}

37 COMMENTS

  1. Can you believe a reform rabbi? Either there was or was not. Fake news and true toyra can’t exist within a house of worship.

  2. Of course not! They wouldn’t torture a child! Instead they would wait till he’s 18 years of and then ונשאל הנערה את פיה.

  3. I’m missing something, they were saying the whole time it was a “baby naming ceremony” not a bris. That is even what President Trump said in his speech. I understand that in our world they are one in the same,however in the conservative and reform worlds they can be completely different events. Meaning, just because nebach the boy’s parents choose not to give their son a Bris Milah they may still have a naming ceremony in “Shul”. So by everyone confirming that it wasn’t a bris that is not changing the story line at all, If however they are saying that there was no ceremony at all and this entire story with the “Toevah” couple is false that would be braking news, and many people would need to ask some serious Mechila…. If you can have this clarified
    it would be greatly appreciated.

    • It wasn’t a baby naming ceremony but they were up to after the bris when the name is given – according to people in that temple.

  4. Supposedly the “Bris” was taking place at a Reconstructionist congregation that was renting space in the building. So the Conservative rabbi may be telling the truth that it was not in his “synagogue” but it still may have been happening elsewhere in the building.

      • I was not commenting on whether we can or should try to figure out Hashem’s reasons for doing things. Just that the “fake news” may actually be fake news.

  5. Here it is, black on white
    Congregants told MSNBC that a bris, or circumcision ceremony had been in progress. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the shooting happened during the portion of the ceremony when the child is given a Hebrew name.
    Meyers, what do you say to this?

    • 1. Why matzav.com calls a Heretical Reform Cofer as a “Rabbi” ???
      2. To prove the lies of this Meyers to be false, here is the link to the New York Post claiming that it was a brit – it is a clear proof that Meyers does not tell the truth:
      ” Congregants told MSNBC that a bris, or circumcision ceremony had been in progress. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the shooting happened during the portion of the ceremony when the child is given a Hebrew name. ”

      https://nypost.com/2018/10/27/shooter-screamed-all-jews-must-die-before-opening-fire-at-pittsburgh-synagogue/

      Synagogue shooter screamed ‘All Jews must die’ before opening fire

      By Laura Italiano and Eileen AJ Connelly

      October 27, 2018 | 12:56pm | Updated

      A gunman screaming “All Jews must die!” burst into a Pittsburgh synagogue during Sabbath services, shooting and killing at least 11 people and wounding a half-dozen more, including four police officers, before surrendering.

      The conservative Tree of Life Synagogue had been packed with three separate congregations attending Saturday morning services when the bloodbath began at around 10 a.m.

      Congregants told MSNBC that a bris, or circumcision ceremony had been in progress.

      Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the shooting happened during the portion of the ceremony when the child is given a Hebrew name.

      The “shooter claimed innocent lives — and injured first responders — at a baby naming,” Shapiro said.

      The suspect — identified by CBS affiliate KDKA as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, a bearded, heavyset resident of Pittsburgh — was armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and two handguns, according to multiple reports.

      He had an active license to carry a firearm, law enforcement sources told CNN, and was known to have made at least six firearm purchases since 1996.

      The gunfire sent congregants scattering, with many calling police after barricading themselves inside the building, located in the city’s Jewish enclave Squirrel Hill.
      Modal TriggerPeople gather on a corner near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., where a shooter opened fire.People gather on a corner near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., where a shooter opened fire.AP

      Bowers was himself injured and crawling on his hands and knees as he surrendered at around 11 a.m. after a shootout with police. None of the injured officers were likely to die, according to officials.

      He surrendered “with a pistol in his waistband and one strapped to his ankle,” tweeted local reporter Ross Guidotti.

      “It’s a very horrific crime scene. One of the worst that I’ve seen, and I’ve been on some plane crashes,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters.

      “It’s very bad,” he added. He declined to confirm the number of dead. The investigation will be led by the FBI in Philadelphia, and the shooting has been classified a federal hate crime, he said.

      World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder called the massacre “an attack not just on the Jewish community, but on America as a whole.”

      In online posts, Bowers described himself right-wing, but virulently anti-Trump and anti-Semitic.

      “Jews are the children of satan. (john 8:44)” he’d written on his bio on Gab, an alt-right version of Twitter on which he called himself “@onedingo.”

      Regarding the president, he said: “For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a maga hat.”
      Modal TriggerA SWAT team arrives at the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire.A SWAT team arrives at the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire.AP

      He railed against HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Jewish non-profit that advocates for refugees worldwide.

      “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” he posted hours before the shooting. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

      His account was taken down shortly after the shooting, but his posts were preserved by the site Heavy.com.

      President Trump decried the shooting, calling the gunman, “A madman, a wacko” and “a maniac.”

      Vice President Mike Pence called for the death penalty, saying, “What happened in Pittsburgh today was not just criminal — it was evil.”

      Additional reporting by Ben Feuerherd and Mary Kay Linge

      With Post Wires

  6. Who cares if a bris or a naming ceremony or if anything at all took place ? I did not expect such pettiness, rechilus and just plain disgusting reactions from the readers of matzav.com. The people in the shul, whatever “denomination” they suppposedly belonged to, were Jews and as such, were marked for a killing. Is it so hard for you to get your petty heads around that fact and stop checking their tzitzis? Does it really make a difference ? And what’s a “toeva couple”? And did someone check that out before printing it? And if they do fit such a description, why does it have to be mentioned in the article? Does that legitimize killing them?
    Matzav could do with a bit of editorial sense and conscience!

  7. Unfortunately I think everybody misses the point if a Jew get killed it’s a tragedy. It’s not our job to judge but by the same token it’s not our job to judge hashem either. For all the people I think they have these great questions on how could it happen but only seem to remember he exist when there is a tragedy or a problem

  8. “…the gossiping led to a division amongst Klal Yisroel and besmirched the reputation…”
    What “division” and what “besmirched reputation” are you referring to? I saw absolutely no division among klal yisroel. Instead, I saw unity and saw that nearly every thinking Jew who spoke about this immense tragedy note that Jews were murdered because they were Jewish and that they died al kiddush Hashem regardless of any of those claims or rumors (other than some video that unfortunately went viral). Hashem loves every Jew just because they are a Jew and for no other reason. Hashem Yimkom Dammam.

  9. There was no controversy. Klal Yisroel deeply felt the shared pain regardless of affiliation. There was one speech that most people disagreed with that seemed to imply above. All rabbonim regardless if affiliation deeply disagreed with the one individual. The choice of words in the article implying a larger controversy is misleading and is probably a mistake. There are those who dislike us that would like to play up that person’s singular opinion and there are some trolls at play as well.

  10. The most religious of Jews seem to miss the whole point of what it means to be Jewish. Practice what you learn all day. This is the real world.

    Good day.

    • The most religious of Jews seem to miss the whole point of what it means to be Jewish.

      While I don’t agree with the comments you are presumably referring to, I still find it very ironic and and hypocritical
      that you can make such a point at the same time as making such a sweeping attack on all of the most religious of all Jews.

      Based on what? A few anonymous comments online?

      This is the real world.

    • Since the very word “Jew” means to praise G-d (i.e. be religious) I’m rather curious exactly what being Jewish means to you… an ethnic identity? a national political affiliation? What?

      • The English word “Jew” does not mean to praise G-d.

        Being Jewish depends on the context.

        A person can be Jewish because he was born into a situation that Judaism recognizes him as being Jewish. Or they could have been born non-Jewish and converted.

        That is what makes a person Jewish on a technical level

        Judaism in itself however is exclusively a religion. It has cultural and ethnic aspects but neither have any bearing on whether someone practices Judaism or not.

  11. It is true that that allegation strengthened the critical reaction of some.

    However, there are other problematic aspects of such a Temple which are gross deviations from orthodox practice even without it, which could elicit similar criticism.

    It is still not a Shul, it remains a Temple assered by gedolei Yisroel.

  12. The real question here is, what do we have to learn from all this. And the answer is perhaps, that once a person is dead he can no longer say his mind. And so we must be saddened that Rav Gifter, Rav Elya, Reb Chaim Epstien and Rav Avigdor Miller are no longer alive.
    We all know what they held and how they would react, but we are the ones who lost out when they were niftar.
    Today it is all about political correctness and what do we want the world to hear “us” say. These Gedolim spoke words that we did not want the world to hear them say, but they cared only about what HaShem wanted to hear.
    So, yes it is a time of reflection and mourning for everyone in Klal Yisroel as one.

  13. I heard straight from the mouth of one of the gedolei roshei yeshivos in America that isn’t affiliated with any political party that the Pittsburgh massacre isn’t considered dying al kiddush hashem

    • Interesting. Does that mouth also say that not all of the Six Million kedoshim were kedoshim, since over half of them weren’t even shomrei shabbos?
      It has been accepted, since the times of Chazal, that a yid who is murdered just because he is a yid is considered a kodosh, who died al kidush Hashem.
      Would that Rosh Yeshiva please bring a mekor for his words?

      • can you breing a mekor ffor ypour words ..no ‘i heard’ i saw …etc only where we can verify and only from jewish law , S”U, Rambam, talmud..and were taliking of one who disregards the torah

      • Here are some mareh mekomos that say that if one who is murdered just because they are a yid is it not al kiddush Hashem. Michtav Eliyahu Chelek 3 page 348. The Baal Nesivos Shalom in Kuntres Haharugoh Olecha, The sefer Bechol Nafshecha page 378 in which the author writes he asked Rav Azriel Auerbach and he said that his father Rav Shlomo Zalman held that those who were killed by the Germans it was not al kiddush Hashem and they couldn’t make the bracha.

  14. I hope the Republicans do well tomorrow. The democrat party has become so evil and divisive. If they win it will be a real disaster for this Country.

  15. can you breing a mekor ffor ypour words ..no ‘i heard’ i saw …etc only where we can verify and only from jewish law , S”U, Rambam, talmud..and were taliking of one who disregards the torah

  16. I have read all the comments and it makes me realize how wonderful Klal Yisroel really is. There are so many who feel one way and so many who feel the other way but the bottom line is everyone is feeling something. That has to be a wonderful thing in Shomayim. The Eibishter is looking at his children and sees some who who feel we must love every Yid regardless while others feel we must stand up for his name. Both sides are right. Everyone is right. We are all bothered by this story and it has changed us – each in our own way – yet whichever side you seem to identify with, you have shown a love for Hashem. Kudos to all. BH we have all tuned into this awful tragedy and are talking about what Hashem wants from us. We are all realizing that Hashem only does good, that he NEVER makes a mistake and that everything that happens is for our good. Our job is not to play G-D, our job is to look within ourselves and see from every story we hear about, what does Hashem want from me. In this story many feel he wants you to love every Jew more and many feel that he wants you to stand up for his name if you feel it was disgraced. We have all done well. Continue to debate without the hate.

    Just because there are 2 sides doesn’t mean one has to be right and the other wrong. Both can be right!

  17. SHU’t MAGHARIL #99 IF ONE IS KILLED BECAUSE OF BEING A YID HE DIED AL KIDUSH HASHEM.
    v’su lo midi.Also Sulchan Oruch yorei dayoh #340 a MESHUMAD that got killed[not al kidush hashem] also has kapporoh.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here