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Huntsville Rabbi remembers the victims from Pittsburgh's synagogue shooting

Rabbi Stephen Listfield has been in touch with people in Pittsburgh all weekend. He knew 6 of the 11 victims who were killed.

Posted: Oct 28, 2018 5:33 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 3:20 PM

Rabbi Stephen Listfield at Huntsville Conservative Synagogue used to be the Rabbi at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh nine years ago. He was there for three years.

On Sunday afternoon, members of the Huntsville Conservative Synagogue discussed Saturday's mass shooting. Rabbi Listfield said he knew 6 of the 11 victims who were killed.

"We pray and we pray to God and among the prayers we say is for peace. We pray to learn how to love each other better," said Rabbi Stephen Listfield.

Rabbi Listfield remembers those who died at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, including Rose Mallinger and brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal.

"They were just as harmless and sweet and as innocent as could be," Rabbi Listfield said.

He has a story to tell about each victim.

"I remember that man very well. He was always joking. He and his wife were both killed. He would joke with his wife, and she would joke back with him. They just deserve to live their lives," Rabbi Listfield said.

Rabbi Listfield was up all night talking with friends in Pittsburgh on Saturday. When he saw the face of the gunman, Robert Bowers, on the news, he didn't see him as just a shooter.

"He's a murderer, a murderer! People need to know that this horrible person is a murderer. Our leaders need to know we will not tolerate a murderer," Rabbi Listfield said.

Bowers yelled, "All Jews might die" when shooting inside the synagogue. Max Rosenthal and other Jews in Huntsville told WAAY 31 those words hurt them. Since the Holocaust, they never thought this hatred would happen in America.

"Unfortunately it is happening. We're going to have be much more on our guard than we were before," Max Rothenal said.

Rabbi Listfield said he has meetings with other Jewish leaders on protecting the Synagogue and the Jewish community.

"Until people in this country all learn how to love each other and accept each other, we're going to have to be much more serious about security," Rabbi Listfield said.

Rabbi Listfield said he's glad politicians are giving their thoughts and prayers, but he wants to see leaders take action when it comes to gun laws and terrorist acts.

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