We are deeply horrified by the murder of 11 Jewish people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 27, 2018. We are praying for the families and other loved ones who have suffered unfathomable loss and whose lives will never be the same. We also continue to pray for the wounded police officers who bravely confronted the killer and prevented the death of many others.
Our ministry, Chosen People Ministries has had a long association with the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh. We maintained an outreach center there for decades and we continue to have a Messianic congregation in the area. The Jewish community of Pittsburgh is closer than ever to all our hearts during this painful time.
There is no doubt that the cold-blooded murder of Jewish people during a synagogue service is shocking to us all and touches us in the depth of our souls.
You may already be aware of the names of those who were slain, but I am listing them for you so that you can specifically pray for their families.
- Richard Gottfried, 65
- Rose Mallinger, 97
- Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
- Cecil Rosenthal, 59
- David Rosenthal, 54
- Bernice Simon, 84
- Sylvan Simon, 86
- Daniel Stein, 71
- Melvin Wax, 88
- Irving Younger, 69
Over the last few days, I received a number of e-mails from those who love the Jewish people and were horrified by these events. The common theme in all of these notes is a desire to do something to help the families who lost loved ones and to find a way take a stand for the Jewish Messiah Jesus against the growing and heinous antisemitism we see in the United States and throughout the world.
I appreciate the sincere expressions of grief on the part of believers to this horrifying crime. In response, I have developed a list of ways that the Christian community can uphold the Jewish people during this difficult time.
I hope these suggestions will give you some idea of how to show the love of Jesus to His kinsman according to the flesh.
- Local congregations and individual followers of Jesus should find ways to counter antisemitism in their respective local communities. Write articles and send letters to the editor of your local newspaper opposing antisemitism. Let the local community know that Christians care about the Jewish people and are praying for them.
- Countering antisemitism is not only a witness of God’s love for Israel and Jewish people, but also an affirmation of God’s ongoing election of the Jewish people. It is also a recognition that antisemitism should also be viewed as a spiritual problem and is Satanic in origin.
- Churches and Messianic congregations are bridges of grace between the church and the Jewish community. Your public, unambiguous stand with Jewish people against antisemitism may actually save lives. You might use your marquee to post a message of comfort to your local Jewish community.
- Utilize social media as a way to communicate to the broader community regarding God’s love for Jewish people and His hatred of antisemitism. Consider online advocacy; social media posts, declarations of prayer and support for the Jewish community etc. Use your local congregational web sites and publications as well as available Christian media to do the same.
- Urge the church to act by gathering and disseminating information to local Christians. Good information can go a long way in helping fellow believers understand the urgency of the situation and to prayerfully take action.
- Send a note from your church to a local synagogue letting the Rabbi know you care and that you are praying for the community. You might even consider hosting a prayer service for Christians who would like to pray for Jewish people and their local Jewish community in particular.
- If there are any local prayer vigils in public areas or at Jewish community facilities, try to attend as individuals or as a local congregation or home group to show support.
May I also suggest a prayer you might you might pray today both individually and together with other believers who have been likewise moved by these tragic events,
Lord God, my heart and prayers go out to the Jewish community today. I am grateful for the Jewish people as salvation is from the Jews, my Savior is Jewish, the Scriptures were penned and preserved by the Jewish people, I am grafted into the olive tree of Israel’s covenants and my future is linked to the salvation of all Israel. Lord preserve and protect your chosen people. Heal the wounded hearts of the family and friends of those who lost loved ones last Saturday. And, as our Messiah taught, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’ I pray that you comfort the families that lost loved ones in Pittsburgh and within the Jewish community across America. In the name of Jesus, Amen.