Messianic Jew among the dead in San Bernardino shooting


(JTA) — One of the victims of the shooting rampage in San Bernardino was a Messianic Jew who wore tzitzit fringes and a Star of David tie clip.

Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was a “devout believer” and Messianic Jew, his wife, Jennifer, told the Los Angeles Times. Messianic Jews are Christians who believe Jesus was the Messiah, yet incorporate some components of Judaism. No major denomination of Judaism accepts the sect as Jewish.

“He became born again a couple of years ago, and because of that I had a very strong faith,” Jennifer Thalasinos said, “so I know that he’s in a much better place.”

A picture of the couple that has circulated widely since the shooting shows Nicholas wearing a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl, around his neck.

Thalasinos was among 14 people killed Wednesday at a facility for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino, California, east of Los Angeles.

The suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had traveled to the Middle East and reportedly had contact with Islamic extremists. Law enforcement agencies are treating the incident as a potential terrorist attack.

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