Shooting in Las Vegas:
'We're shocked - the shooting happened in our backyard'

The rabbi of Las Vegas's largest Orthodox congregation talks about his community's reaction to Sunday's mass shooting that killed 50.

Tzvi Lev,

Las Vegas shooting site
Las Vegas shooting site
Reuters

On Sunday, Stephen Paddock killed 58 and wounded more than 500 hundred when he opened fire at a country music concert at the Mandalay Bay resort. According to Rabbi Yitz Wyne, who heads Young Israel Aish Las Vegas, the attack hit his community particularly hard because of his congregation's physical proximity to the scene of the slaughter.

"Our congregation is only 12 miles away from where it happened," Wyne told Arutz Sheva. "Many people work there, and we are all familiar with the area."

"The entire day, I've been getting calls from community members, from people all over the world, asking if we are okay," Wyne continued. "We are all in shock."

Rabbi Wyne views the tragic shooting as a message from God. "We need to note that it happened right near us, not in Atlanta," he said. "All of us need to find ways that we can repent and serve God better."

"Nothing happens for no reason-if a mass shooting happened near us, then we need to ask ourselves what God is telling us," Rabbi Wyne declared.

The ISIS terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying in a statement that "the Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries", and claimed that Paddock converted to Islam several months ago. This is denied by the FBI. Rabbi Wyne says, however, that he and his community don't fear for their physical safety.

"We don't harbor any such fears," said Wyne. "We've spent more than $75,000 on security over the last year alone. Our building is much safer than it has ever been, for the threats have grown larger since we first built it 15 years ago."

"Some of our members have gotten racial insults hurled at them, things like that, but nothing out of the ordinary. We feel safe here," Wyne concluded.




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