(CNSNews.com) – Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway told President Donald Trump on Thursday that the president was the first person to begin healing him following the shooting last week at the synagogue that claimed the life of one of his parishioners and injured three others.
During the National Day of Prayer service in the White House Rose Garden, Goldstein said he “faced evil and the worst darkness of all time” when a gunman opened fire on him and others during Passover service on Saturday.
“Just five days ago Saturday morning, I faced evil and the worst darkness of all time right in our own house of worship, right at Poway. I faced him, and I had to make a decision. Do I run and hide or do I stand tall and fight and protect all those that are there? We cannot control what others do, but we can control how we react. My dear rabbi … taught me the way we react to darkness is with light,” he said.
“It was that moment that I made a decision no matter what happens to me, I’m going to save as many people as possible. I should have been dead by now based on the rule of statistics. I was in the line of fire, bullets flying all the way. My fingers got blown off, but I did not stop. The rabbi taught me, as a Jew, you are a soldier of God. You need to stand tall and stand fast and do whatever it takes to change the world,” the rabbi said.
As CNSNews.com reported, Trump used his speech at the National Day of Prayer service on Thursday to condemn “evil and hate-filled” attacks on religious communities in the United States and abroad.
“As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and to ensure that all people and all of our people can live and pray and worship in peace. In recent months, it’s been pretty tough. We’ve seen evil and hate-filled attacks on religious communities in the United States and all around the world,” the president said.
The shooting changed Goldstein’s life forever, the rabbi said, “but it changed so I could make change and I could help others learn how to be strong, how to be mighty and tall. Many have asked me, Rabbi, where do we go from here? How do we prevent this?
“And my response is and what my rabbi told me when President Ronald Reagan was shot, the rabbi said, we need to go back to the basics and introduce a moment of silence in all public schools so that children from early childhood on could recognize that there’s more good to the world, that they are valuable, that there is accountability and every human being is created in God’s image,” Goldstein added.
“If something good could come out of this terrible, terrible, horrific event, let us bring back a moment of silence to our public school system,” he said. The rabbi thanked the United States and Trump.
“Mr. President, when you called me, I was at home weeping. You were the first person who began my healing. You heal people in their worst of times, and I’m so grateful for that. You have helped me bring great honor to Mrs. Lori Kaye of blessed memory – a 60-year-old dear friend of our congregation. I’ve known her for 25 years,” he said.
“A staunch volunteer, she works for the Friendship Circle, an organization that helps children with special needs. This year, on June 2nd, we’re doing a March in her memory to show that nothing is going to stop us. We’re are going to march as victory, and you helped us bring Lori Kaye great honor, and God bless you, and God bless America,” Goldstein concluded.