We learned after the hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas that the rabbi being held hostage waited for his opportunity and then threw a chair at the gunman, giving him and two other hostages time to run out the door. Rabbi Mike Rothbaum has written an essay about the ordeal and notes that the only thing that stopped a bad guy with a gun was a good rabbi with a chair.

“The only bloodshed that happened in the Colleyville synagogue was carried out by the FBI. Agents stormed the building after the hostages had escaped, killing the captor, oddly, only after the captives were all safe,” he writes.

Rothbaum continues:

“Not by might and not by power,” the prophet Zachariah famously taught, speaking on behalf of God, “but by My Spirit.” The religion of the armament fanatic, whether in the NRA or in our synagogues, reverses the formulation, relying first on force. Generally, we call that abdication of Jewish values in favor of those of the dominant secular culture “assimilation.” It is no wonder that some rabbis, including myself, prohibit guns from the grounds of synagogues.

“The armament fanatic.”

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