Imagine the horrors of this week for Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue, and then marvel at his graciousness and composure in this CNN interview. Alisyn Camerota asks Myers to describe his meeting with Donald Trump, a visit that created controversy in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Myers himself had told Camerota in an earlier interview that he would welcome Trump to his synagogue if he wanted to come to honor the victims and console the survivors.
This morning, Myers described the president’s “warm and personal side,” which “pleasantly surprised” him, while telling Camerota that some of the visit was so personal that he wanted to keep it to himself:
Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers on Pres. Donald Trump's Pittsburgh trip: “I was pleasantly surprised by a warm and personal side to the President that I don’t think America has ever seen.” pic.twitter.com/kujaqDxtJM
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) November 1, 2018
The only real takeaway here — besides Rabbi Myers’ courage and directness — is his observation that America hasn’t seen Trump’s “warm and personal side.” That seems absolutely true; we have heard about it on occasion, but it rarely comes out directly in public. Trump’s public persona is much more focused on being an unapologetic (to the max) fighter and a hard-nosed dealmaker. One has to wonder how much traction Trump would gain by letting that side emerge more prominently in public to at least mitigate the unapologetic-fighter persona.
One last issue: if you want to help the congregants of the Tree of Life synagogue recover, GoFundMe has a verified account for the victims. They have a target of $1.2 million, and they’re not too far off from it. If nothing else, pray for their recovery from this horrible anti-Semitic attack, and pray that it’s the last we’ll see in our lifetimes.