By COLlive reporter
A group of Shluchim was in attendance at the annual National Day of Prayer at the White House, addressed by President Donald Trump, on Thursday morning.
At the annual event held on the White House lawn, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Director of Chabad of Poway, California, who was injured in a shooting attack at the Chabad Center on the last day of Pesach, was called up by the President to address the event.
The President invited Rabbi Goldstein to come up and speak, even though it was not in the schedule, saying that “no one expressed the horror and the beauty of what you represent better than what you did.”
Rabbi Goldstein described facing the gunman, and said that in that moment, “I had to make a decision – do I run and hide, or do I stand tall and fight, and protect all those that are there. We cannot control what others do, but we can control how we react,” Goldstein said.
Rabbi Goldstein then relayed the Rebbe’s lesson, that “The way we react to darkness, is with light. I decided that no matter what happens to me, I will save as many people as possible.”
Goldstein said that the Rebbe taught that “as a Jew, you are a soldier of G-d and you have to stand tall and steadfast, and do what you can to save the world.”
He also told of the Rebbe’s call to add a “moment of silence” in public schools, to a round of applause.
Rabbi Goldstein and other Shluchim in attendance: Rabbis Yonah Fradkin, Yeruchem Eilfort and Mendel Goldstein of S. Diego, and Rabbi Zalman Goldstein, are being hosted by Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Shliach to Washington, DC and Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and his wife Nechama.
Also in attendance were Jonathan Morales and Oscar Stewart, both of whom were attending services at the Chabad Center on the day of the attack, and were hailed as heroes for chasing the shooter out of the building.
COLlive.com has learned that as part of the visit, Rabbi Goldstein privately met with President Trump in the Oval Office. This follows their warm phone conversation after the attack, following which Trump praised the rabbi on Twitter.