“They’re committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews.”
These were the words of a deeply disturbed man who Saturday morning, walked into a Jewish house of worship, a place of peace and light and hope, and murdered 11 people.
He killed a 97-year-old named Rose Mallinger, 88-year-old Melvin Wax, and 71-year-old Daniel Stein. He killed a pair of brothers, 59-year-old Cecil Rosenthal and his sibling, 54-year-old David Rosenthal.
This awful, awful man killed a couple that had been married since 1956, 84-year-old Bernice Simon and her husband, 86-year-old Sylvan Simon, and he killed Joyce Fienberg, 75, and Richard Gottfried, 65. Also murdered was 66-year-old Jerry Rabinowitz, and 69-year-old Irving Younger.
Eleven people were murdered on a Saturday morning, and those people deserve to have their names, and their lives remembered.
They were murdered for one reason, and for one reason only: Because they were Jewish.
The slaughter of the Jewish people is a story as old as time, and it’s not going away. It’s not going away because anti-Semitism is on the rise again, all over the world, and of course here as well.
It’s been getting worse and worse, the last few years: According to the Anti-Defamation League, the incidence of anti-Semitic attacks jumped by 57% in 2017, the biggest one-year increase since the group started gathering data.
It’s disgusting, and it’s awful, and it’s not going away. The hate and vitriol, spread by our President and so many millions of his minons, toward so many, is not going away.
And that this awful mass shooting happened just a few days after a dozen mail bombs were sent to major Democratic leaders and former Presidents, well… I don’t know how anyone can feel safe in America right now.
I’m serious. I wish I could say I was hopeful things would get better. But I’m really not.
“I just want to kill Jews,” the man said.
And he did. And now we wait for the next attack, praying and hoping it’s not us who are in the room when a sick person decides to act on their thoughts.
**Next up today, this made me smile. Back when I was a sportswriter in Daytona Beach, Fla., my sports editor’s son was a kid named Sam Markowitz. Polite and quiet, Sam would sometimes come into the newsroom after school and work on his homework. Seeing what he’s now become, I’m proud to say one day when he was about 9 I helped him with his math homework (4th grade math is about the last level of math I was good at).
Sam grew up, became an outstanding musician and scholar, and remarkably got accepted to Harvard, where he’s now a sophomore (Believe me, his dad Dave and I have made all the jokes about how it’s possible a sportswriter’s kid got into America’s most prestigious university.)
Anyway, Sam’s mom Kelly tipped me off this fabulous drumming group he’s a part of at Harvard, called THUD (The Harvard University Drummers). They do fabulous renditions of classic pop songs using something called a boomwhacker, (a boomwhacker is a stick which, when whacked, plays a musical note) and are so, so creative.
Here’s them (ab0ve) doing “Don’t Stop Believin,'” and here’s a link to some of their other terrific work.
How cool is this?
**Finally today, my usual Monday roundup of the wild and wonderful of the NFL on Sunday…
— The Los Angeles Rams might go undefeated. For real. They were totally bottled up for a half, at home, by the Packers Sunday, but still managed to score 29 points and win a squeaker, 29-27. Todd Gurley is unstoppable, Jared Goff has been lights out at QB, and they’re now showing they can win tight games as well as blowouts. They’re now 8-0, halfway to an unbeaten season.
— Halftime Sunday: Redskins 7, N.Y. Giants 3. Bears 7, N.Y. Jets 3.
Total combined points for the two New York teams at game’s end: 23.
Football season in New York baby, it’s fantastic! Man are the locals bad. At least the Jets have some hope for the future, with QB Sam Darnold, once he gets some weapons around him, possibly being a franchise QB.
The Giants? It’s been rare in my life that I’ve been happier to be a Jets fan than a Giants fan. This is one of those times. They look pathetic and lost out there.
— FitzMagic is back! Ryan Fitzpatrick, back from the dead just before Halloween, comes off the bench and leads a huge Tampa Bay comeback, only to fall short as the Bucs lost to the Bengals, 37-34. Fitz sure is fun to watch (as long as he’s not playing on your team).
— Two sneaky-good teams right now: Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers. I could easily see both of them doing damage in the playoffs.
— Adrian Peterson is good again? Really? Thought he was washed up about four years ago. Guy has resurrected his career, even if I loathe the kind of person and parent he is.
— Finally, can I just pay money to watch the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill run up and down a football field all day? Because I would. That man is so fast there needs to be a better word than “fast” to describe him.