And you thought the worst thing that could happen to you at High Holy Days services was getting drooled on by the guy dozing next to you during the rabbi’s sermon:
Three people were injured last week on Erev Rosh Hashanah at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX when 81 year-old retired law enforcement agent Marvin Marks stood up — as we Jews are wont to do so many times while worshipping — and dropped his gun. A single bullet discharged and hit Marks’ 42-year-old daughter in the foot; two others had minor scrapes from the same bullet. Everyone lived, and because nothing can deter a man on a bima, the rabbi finished his sermon. Though the temple did feel the need to reiterate their “no firearms in shul” policy for Yom Kippur.
Poor Mr. Marks, who has been a member of Temple Emanu-El for 50 years, sent out an apology letter to the entire congregation and offered up this explanation:
I spent my career in law enforcement and began to carry a concealed weapon after I was placed in a threatening position by an individual I had previously arrested. Though I carry this weapon with me at all times I always leave it in my car when I go into places, such as the Temple, where guns are prohibited. On Wednesday evening I forgot to leave it in my car. I know that is a poor excuse for bringing it into Temple with me, but that is the truth. When I stood during the service the gun slipped and fell. Though the safety latch was on, the gun fired. I have spoken with other law enforcement officials and this is a rare occurrence with this type of pistol. I am so sorry that two congregants were hit by fragments. I feel awful that my daughter was injured.
He also expressed remorse that another congregant of the same name may have mistakenly been blamed for the accident. (You know how the yentas like to gossip without checking their facts!) Guess he’s got a little extra t’shuvah to do Saturday, eh?
Only in Texas, people. Wonder if Kinky Friedman will write a song about it now that he’s not busy running for office anymore. How does “I Brought My Smith & Wesson to Temple And All I Got Was Tsuris” sound?
Rebbetzin (oops, apparently she doesn’t like the appellation) Arlene Belzer for the tip, who also sent along the following rabbinical response from Temple Emanu-El. Thank God those Texan Jews have a sense of humor:
Welcome to Dallas!
“We don’t say “Shanah Tovah” or “Good Shabbas”; we say “Don’t shoot!”
“Our Temple doesn’t offer early evening or late eveningHigh Holy Day services. We have armed services and unarmed services.”
“We’re the only temple where the National Rifle Association holds meetings.”
“Adult education courses include handgun licensing.”
“In the gift shop you can buy: A combination talit / bulletproof vest, an “I Survived the High Holy Holidays” t-shirt and combination gift packs with Hanukkah candles and
hollow point ammunition.”
“We don’t throw candy at bar mitzvahs. We shoot at the ceiling.”
“Instead of a canned food drive, we have a live turkey shoot.”
“The Torah is escorted to the bima by Dallas SWAT.”
And the Yenta’s favorites, future fundraising slogans for Temple Emanu-El Dallas:
“Our services will blow you away!”
“More bang for your dues buck.”
“Our congregation can kick your congregation’s ass.”
“Do you feel lucky, schmuck?”
*T-Shirt available at Pongo.