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Current Page: U.S. | Wednesday, October 31, 2018
'Holiness:' Jewish Doctors, Nurses Treated Robert Bowers, Who Shouted 'I Want to Kill All Jews'

'Holiness:' Jewish Doctors, Nurses Treated Robert Bowers, Who Shouted 'I Want to Kill All Jews'

Robert D. Bowers mugshot. | (Photo: Public Domain)

The Jewish doctors and nurses who treated Robert Bowers, the suspect who killed 11 people people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, have been hailed for the "holiness" they displayed.

Bowers, who killed 11 people on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue, and was injured himself in the gunfight with police, was rushed to the local Allegheny General Hospital. 

The suspect was apparently shouting "I want to kill all the Jews" in the emergency room, where he was treated by a number of doctors and nurses — at least three of whom are Jewish themselves.

What is more, hospital president President Jeffrey K. Cohen is a member of Tree of Life.

"We're here to take care of sick people," Cohen told ABC affiliate WTAE. "We're not here to judge you. We're not here to ask 'Do you have insurance?' or 'Do you not have insurance?' We're here to take care of people that need our help."

Cohen said that he briefly spoke with Bowers at the hospital.

"I thought it was important to at least talk to him and meet him," Cohen told ABC.

"You can't on one hand say we should talk to each other, and then I don't talk to him. So you lead by example, and I'm the leader of the hospital."

Cohen did not reveal the exact extent of Bowers' injuries, though the suspect appeared in court in a wheelchair on Monday.

Orthodox Christian author and political commentator Rod Dreher admitted on his The American Conservative website that it is unlikely he could have shown such mercy to the suspected shooter.

"What Dr. Cohen — who is a member of Tree of Life synagogue — and his Jewish staff showed is moral courage, but more than that, it is holiness. I am a weak and vengeful man; I know I couldn't have done that for that scum of the earth," Dreher wrote.

"I couldn't have done it any more than I could have shown the holiness of the Amish of rural Pennsylvania, who surrounded the grieving and ashamed parents of the man who murdered their (the Amish) schoolchildren, and adopted them as their own. I could no more have done it than, like the family members of the black churchgoers massacred by white supremacist Dylann Roof, I could have forgiven my family's murderer," he continued, referring to other major U.S. shootings.

"I hope and pray never to have to be in that position. If I can manage to hold on to my humanity, and even to surpass it through forgiveness, it will only be through the power of God — and because I have seen, in the examples of the Jews of Allegheny Hospital, the Amish of Pennsylvania, and the African-American Christians of Charleston, that it is possible."

Survivors of Saturday's Tree of Life shooting meanwhile recounted the horror they went through in an interview with The Associated Press.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who was up in the choir loft when the shooting was taking place, revealed that he whispered to a 911 dispatcher on his phone about what was going on.

When he heard footsteps he assumed were coming for him, he rushed to the bathroom, where he barricaded himself inside.

"I'm going to die," he thought.

Custodian Augie Siriano seperately shared of the grizzly scene he found when he went to investigate the shots he heard from the chapel.

"I turned and looked and there was a gentleman lying face down, coming out of the doors of the chapel, and he had blood coming out of his head," Siriano told WTAE.

"As soon as I seen that, I turned and headed in the other direction, toward the exit doors."

Myers survived, and was one of the many who stood on Monday at a street corner outside the synagogue, looking at the memorials for the victims.

"Tree of Life has been in Pittsburgh for 154 years. We're not leaving this corner," the rabbi said. "We will be back and will rebuild, even stronger."

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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