“Our rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, who was taken to the emergency room, told everyone that she saved his life because she stood in front of him,” said a best friend of the victim.
Lori Gilbert-Kaye, murdered in Saturday’s shooting attack on a Chabad synagogue in the San Diego area, sacrificed her own life in order to save that of the synagogue’s rabbi, according to the rabbi himself.
“Our rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, who was taken to the emergency room, told everyone that she saved his life because she stood in front of him,” said Dr. Ronit Lev, a friend of the murdered woman told Kan Israeli public radio on Sunday morning.
“She went to synagogue to say Kaddish for the first time in her life, for her mother who passed away,” Lev explained. “It was important for her to be in a synagogue,” she added, referring to Gilbert-Kaye as her “best friend in all the world.”
She said that Kaye’s husband “is a doctor in the community, and he heard the shooting. He performed resuscitation on his wife not knowing it was her. Then he saw her face and fainted,” Lev noted in the radio interview.
“Lori Gilbert-Kaye, of blessed memory, is a Jewish hero and will be remembered as a hero in Jewish history,” said Israeli politician Naftali Bennett. “She sacrificed her own life, throwing herself in the path of the murderer’s bullets to save the life of the rabbi,” he added.
“But it is clear that such heroism and good deeds are not only characteristic of dear Lori in death, but this is the way she lived her life – at the heart of her community, constantly doing charity and good deeds for those in need,” said Bennett. “She has been described by those who knew her as a ‘Woman of Valour,’” he added.
“Our hearts are with the Gilbert-Kaye family, who have lost their dear Lori, with the families of the injured and with the whole community,” said Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.
“We are with you in these difficult times. We love and embrace you. The Jewish people will never allow anti-Semitism and hatred to triumph,” said the president.
Last August, Gilbert-Kaye posted on Facebook: “Fearless at 60! As I enter a new decade, I am full of gratitude and thankfulness for the many blessings in my life.”