I always imagined that the main benefit of being a Jew in Texas was that you get to openly carry a firearm to synagogue. One would think that after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg and the shooting at the Chabad Center of Poway, California, Jews in America, especially those in states with lax open carry laws, would do the sensible thing and designate at least one armed worshipper at the entrance in every service.
But no. At least not at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. On Saturday, January 15, during the Sabbath, hostages were taken by an Islamic terrorist at the synagogue. Thank God it ended after roughly 11 hours after law enforcement securely rescued all four hostages. They also killed the terrorist in the process.
It is by the grace of God that all of the hostages emerged unscathed. Needless to say, it could have ended much worse. But that’s a lesson that many Jews, especially Reform Jews, in America have still not yet seemed to learn. And it all stems from the tikkun olam mantra.
Anyone who has ever been involved in the Reform movement is familiar with that phrase. ‘Tikun Olam’ is a term loosely taken from the Aleinu prayer. Its literal meaning is ‘healing the world.’ The phrase has been commandeered by the Reform movement and they use it regularly to justify just about every progressive cause from marrying transgenders to abortion.
Sadly the tikun olam mantra is also used to champion gun control. That appears to have been the case in Colleyville where the hostage crisis will go down as among the more ironic stories of 2022. That’s because according to former Beth Israel member Itamar Gelbman, the Rabbi of the synagogue, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker not only called Israel an apartheid state against Islam, but he also didn’t allow his members (including Itamar) to be armed during services.
There’s not a lot of public spaces in Texas where a terrorist can enter with confidence in his ability to take hostages for eleven hours. But a Reform Synagogue was definitely his best bet.
In a statement regarding the incident, the Union for Reform Judaism credited their safety to “diversity” which they claim “makes us strong and can keep us safe.”
“Now, we must work together to protect our communities and simultaneously heed God’s call to build a world of safety, equity, and love” they added
Really?…”Diversity” didn’t seem to do a great job keeping them safe when an enraged terrorist held a gun to their head. And yes we should heed God’s call to build a world of safety, equity, and love. But we can’t build a world of safety if we’re afraid to protect ourselves.
Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic about the Reform movement learning their lesson. It makes one wonder how many Jews need to die on the altar of progressivism before they realize that they just fell victim to another case of tikun olam gone wrong?…Heaven help us.