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‘Terror Will Not Win’: Rabbi Shot In Poway Synagogue Attack Looks To Future

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein has emerged from surgery shaken but hopeful for the future.

Goldstein is the rabbi of the Chabad center in Poway where a gunman injured three and killed one woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye. After Goldstein was shot in the hand, Gilbert-Kaye put herself between him and the gunman, and was immediately shot. She succumbed to her wounds at the hospital.

Goldstein told The Today Show that he will always remember the moment when he first saw the gunman.

“I cannot erase the moment, and it is going to be embedded there forever,” he said.

The gunman confronted him in the banquet hall of the synagogue that Goldstein — along with Gilbert-Kaye — had helped build over thirty years ago. Goldstein put his hands up. The gunman shot at him, hitting his hand.

Eventually, after the gunman threatened the rest of the congregation, his gun suddenly jammed, and he fled. Goldstein wrapped his bloody hand in his prayer shawl, and continued with his sermon.

“I got up there and just spoke from my heart,” he said. “Just giving everyone the courage to know, it was just 70 years ago during the Holocaust we were gunned down like this, and I just want to let my fellow Americans know that we’re not going to let this happen.”

Listen to Goldstein’s words below:

Goldstein spoke after undergoing surgery for his hand.

“We have to learn from every event that occurs, and grow from it,” Goldstein said.

“That scar is going to remind me how vulnerable we are, but also how heroic each of us can be, to stand up, to fight against terror,” he said.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman




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