Israeli Chief Rabbi: Anti-Semitism reared its head in US

Sephardic Chief Rabbi offers condolences to families of synagogue massacre victims, urges 'caution' as anti-Semitism 'rears its head'.

David Rosenberg,

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Yaakov Cohen

One of Israel’s two chief rabbis warned that anti-Semitism was ‘rearing its head again in the US’, urging American Jews to take precautions following the deadly mass-shooting in a Pennsylvania synagogue on Saturday.

"I was shocked to hear about the murder of innocent Jews in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, simply because they were Jews, by an abhorrent murderer who was driven by anti-Semitic hatred,” said Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

On Saturday morning, 46-year-old Robert Bowers burst into the Tree of Life Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh shouting “All Jews must die.”

Bowers opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and gunned down congregants at the synagogue. Eleven people were killed during the mass-shooting, and six more wounded. Bowers was also wounded before being taken into custody.

Rabbi Yosef offered his condolences to the relatives of the 11 people killed in the attack, and urged members of the American Jewish community to take “due caution” to prevent future attacks.

“My heart is with the bereaved families and with all of our Jewish brothers and sisters who live in the US. To our sorrow, anti-Semitism has recently reared its head again in the US. Based on the precept 'Take good heed for yourselves' , the Jews must act with due caution, in accordance with the security directives of law-enforcement authorities; out of mutual responsibility, we must all pray for their well-being. May we yet hear better news."