‘I am grateful to be alive’: Rabbi held hostage in synagogue attack speaks out in Facebook post


(JTA) — Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, the rabbi who was held hostage at his synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday along with three others, spoke out about the experience for the first time in a Facebook post Sunday morning.

He wrote:

I am thankful and filled with appreciation for
All of the vigils and prayers and love and support,
All of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us,
All of the security training that helped save us.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish Community, the Human Community.
I am grateful that we made it out.
I am grateful to be alive.
He added to the post in a comment: “Now that I’ve put this out, maybe I can finally get to sleep. Sending love and compassion to all!”

Cytron-Walker was leading services on Saturday morning when a man took him and three others hostage, reportedly in an effort to free a woman who was convicted of attempting to kill American military personnel. The crisis, which streamed online for some time before being taken down, drew the world’s attention to a rabbi who is in many ways synonymous with the synagogue he leads.

After a 12-hour standoff with the attacker, all four hostages were freed. The suspect, whose name has not been released, died at the scene.

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