'My grandparents came here to escape this': Mayim Bialik speaks out after 'horrific' synagogue shooting

Mayim Bialik tried to pen down her thoughts and emotions on the tragic Pittsburgh shooting and shared how her family had immigrated to the US to escape Hitler.


                            'My grandparents came here to escape this': Mayim Bialik speaks out after 'horrific' synagogue shooting

Mayim Bialik reflected on the tragic synagogue shooting which claimed the lives of 11 people in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The suspected shooter Robert Bowers shot and killed 11 worshippers during a Shabbat service at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The 'Big Bang Theory' actress took to her website 'GrokNation' to share, "I am still trying to find ways to wrap my head around such a horrific act of anti-Semitism. Even I have been surprised at how much this feels like it happened to my family. If you are one of my many beloved gentile friends who reached out to me this weekend to express condolences, I thank you for your open heart and compassionate spirit." 

Mayim Bialik (Source: Getty Images)
Mayim Bialik (Source: Getty Images)

"And if you are among the lucky who do not have any understanding of what it means to be a part of a minority … I hope that you can have compassion for the Jewish people right now," the Jewish actress continued. The victims of the shooting included siblings, a husband and a wife, and a 97-year-old woman. According to US attorney Scott Brady, Robert Bowers has been charged with 29 federal crimes and many of those carry a maximum penalty of death. 

"Upon hearing the news, I felt like getting on a plane to Pittsburgh. I felt helpless. I felt scared. I felt let down by America. My grandparents came here to escape this," Mayim added referring to how her family immigrated to the United States in order to escape Hitler. "Where is my home? Certainly, I didn’t feel very at home this weekend. I felt like rushing to Israel, as bizarre as that sounds". 

A memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Source: Getty Images)
A memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Source: Getty Images)

"I also thought about the attacker’s recent hatred for HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, an organization that helps refugees settle once they come to America. This brings me to tears. You see, whether you believe it or not, whether you like it or not, the Jewish cultural narrative is that we were slaves in Egypt," she continued. "We are never to forget that we, too, were strangers once. What those who hate us fail to grasp is that our story is stronger than their hatred. We will help refugees even if you don’t want us to. That’s what we do and who we are," Mayim shared. 

"I am afraid to go to synagogue next Shabbos. But I will and I must. Because the hatred of Jews does not only exist at synagogue. It’s everywhere. … And so we go on living. It’s the same for the other targeted minorities whose places of worship have been attacked. We go on. We must," she said. 

She added that she "could not help but try to blame President Trump" but decided that "now is not the time". "I know eventually I’ll need to talk about things like gun control, mental illness, hate speech and how this all played a part in what happened. But not now. Yes, I feel protective, Of my people. Of my identity, of my prayers, and of my people’s story. We have been through so much. We have conquered and survived. We have heroes among us, and we have some who do not always exemplify our best intentions. We are a people like every other. We want to live and thrive," she added.