The rabbi injured in the synagogue shooting near San Diego is calling on public schools to reintroduce a moment of silence during the day.
"Why did they take prayer out of the public schools?" Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein asked Anderson Cooper on Monday during an appearance on CNN.
"When Ronald Reagan was shot, a campaign was launched that public schools should introduce a moment of silence. I'm hoping to get legislation to reintroduce that, that children when they start their day should take a moment of silence to think about themselves and to realize that they are children of God, that they have a soul, that they are created in the image of God, to value life, and to value more of life than just the materialism, that there's a spiritual dimension to life."
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1962 banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools in a landmark decision, saying it violated the First Amendment. But religious groups are permitted to meet on school grounds after school, and students can also pray to whomever and whatever they want at any time of day, as long as it is done in private and as long as they do not force others to do the same.
Goldstein founded the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, which was targeted by a 19-year-old gunman armed with an assault-style weapon who wrote a manifesto of hate against Jewish people. Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, died after shielding Goldstein from the bullets. Three others were injured in the shooting, which happened Saturday, the final day of Passover. The suspect, John Earnest, had "hate and evil in him," Goldstein said.
"This must stop, and I'm hoping that the tragedy that happened at our congregation would be the impetus to rethink what is the problem, why have we gone wrong," he told Cooper. "America was built on religious values. In God we trust. Our founding fathers of America wanted our children to grow up with God in their lives, with a spiritual life to them."
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