Poway, also known as “The City In the Country,” is located northeast on the rural fringe of San Diego. It is known for being a family-friendly city with a low crime rate. The people who live in the city say that it is a beautiful place to live.
The Chabad Of Poway
The Chabad of Poway synagogue has grown into a thriving place for Jews wanted to learn about traditional values. The synagogue was first founded in 1986. Back then, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein gathered his congregation together in a storefront at a Rancho Bernardo mall. As the congregation grew, they moved to the center they worship in today after it was built in 1997. The complex spans over 20,000 square feet, and it holds meeting rooms and a preschool.
April 27, 2019
April 27, 2019, was a very tragic day for the congregation. They gathered together for a Passover service. The festival marks the beginning of the harvest in Israel. It relates to the events of Exodus. It was the end of four centuries of slavery for the Jews and is described in the Bible in the Book of Exodus. The service is called Yizkor. The service began at 11 am, and 20 minutes into the service, tragedy struck.
The tragedy occurred when a man in military gear wearing glasses came into the church carrying an AR-15 rifle. When he came in, he started swearing, and then began shooting. According to survivors, the gunman fired his weapon six or seven times. People started screaming and continued to do so as the gunman fired. The rabbi was hit, but he still tried to get the gunman to stop and to soothe his congregation. A new congregant, Danny Almog, heard the gunfire and mistook it for a falling chandelier or a smashing chair. When he heard people screaming and yelling, “Shooting,” he realized what was happening. He immediately hit the floor and crawled to the playroom where his children were. He saw his father-in-law shielding his son with his body. He couldn’t find his daughter, and he panicked. It turned out that his friend, Almog Peretz, grabbed her and several other children and took them to safety at a nearby house. This put him right in the line of fire, and he ended up with shrapnel in his leg.
Unfortunately, 8-year-old Noya Dahan didn’t get away safely. Pieces of shrapnel hit her in the leg and the face. Her family fled Israel to the United States to get away from danger; therefore, they never expected something like this to happen. Noya hid to avoid being hit by again. Fortunately, she survived.
A bullet hit Lori Gilbert-Kaye, and she was lying on the floor, and she wasn’t moving. During the shooting, an Iraq vet, Oscar Stewart confronted the gunman. When he saw Oscar, he dropped his weapon and ran away, looking frightened. Oscar started CPR on Lori, and a doctor ran over to take over. The doctor was Howard Kaye. When Oscar moved over, he started trying to save her life. A Doctor Performed CPR On This Synagogue Shooting Victim – But He Didn’t Know She Was His Wife. He didn’t realize it until after he realized that she couldn’t be saved. He fell to the floor when he realized that his wife was gone.
The gunman’s name is John T. Earnest. He was just out of high school and was studying nursing. According to police, he had no criminal history and no link to any white supremacist groups. He tried, unsuccessfully, to live stream the shooting on Facebook. They found a letter on his computer full of hate. He had many angry feelings about Jews and claimed to be inspired by the Pittsburgh synagogue that happened a month earlier.
A Country In Mourning
When word got out about the shooting, the whole country was in mourning. During his attack, the gunman hit four people, killing one. Flags all over the country flew at half-mast to honor the survivors.
John Earnest was arrested an charged with several counts of violence and hate crimes following the shooting. During his first court appearance, a federal affidavit described him as a deeply disturbed young man.
When horrific events like this happen, you can’t help but wonder why, how, and what. Why do people do things like this? How did they become such horrible people that they would be capable of something so terrible? What were they thinking before willingly taking lives? We asked these questions after 9/11, and we continue to ask them after every mass shooting. Unfortunately, there are no answers to these questions. We will never be able to get into the mind of mass murderers, and we will never understand how what, and why. We just have to accept that the only thing we can do is live in uncertainty and try to move on from the grief, fear, and horror. The doctor who lost his wife that day may never recover.