Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz once helped a man get through the “most terrifying and frightening time” of his life. Now the good doctor is gone.
Rabinowitz was among the 11 people who were shot and killed when suspected gunman Robert Bowers opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday. Witnesses said Rabinowitz was shot as he rushed to help others amid the melee. He was in the basement with a separate congregation and raced to the scene of the shooting to offer any aid he could, reported Haaretz.
“That was Uncle Jerry; that’s just what he did,” a nephew posted on Facebook.
Rabinowitz had “a moral compass stronger than anyone I have ever known,” a colleague said.
Michael Kerr said Rabinowitz treated him for HIV until 2004. Rabinowitz, who was one of the first physicians in Pittsburgh to treat people who were HIV-positive, had a reputation in the community for “keeping us alive the longest,” Kerr recalled.
And Rabinowitz did so with memorable kindness. He “often held our hands (without rubber gloves) and always always hugged us as we left his office,” Kerr wrote. Here’s his full tribute:
“What happened yesterday will not break us. It will not ruin us,” Rabbi Jonathan Perlman told an interfaith audience at a Pittsburgh service on Sunday. “We will continue to thrive and sing and worship and learn together and continue our historic legacy in the city with the friendliest people that I know.”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.