'I was not nervous': Holocaust survivor recounts experience outside Tree of Life synagogue

Holocaust survivor who narrowly missed Tree of Life shootings tells story

Today, surrounded by family, Larry and Anne Barasch from www.123shirt.com donated the money to Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life Synagogue.

The home-based Robinson Township company started creating the popular "Stronger Than Hate" shirts after the mass shooting two months ago, donating all money after costs to the victims.

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Standing with the Barasch family was Judah Samet, Larry’s uncle, who was in the synagogue parking lot as police exchanged fire with the gunman.

He’s also a Holocaust survivor.

"I actually survived at least five times. I'm on my sixth life now," he told Channel 11.

Samet arrived at the synagogue uncharacteristically late on Oct. 27. He was pulling into the parking lot as police and the suspected gunman, Robert Bowers, exchanged gunfire.


"I was not nervous; I didn't get nervous at all," Samet said. "In fact, some people may say that by (me) trying to see the guy, he could have shot me."

Samet's family and housekeeper feared he was among the victims when they couldn't reach him that day.

"Because I didn't take my cell phone with me, people were calling me, and when I didn't answer everyone was so certain that I died. When I came home she started to cry," he said.

While "Stronger Than Hate" has become the rallying cry in the wake of the mass shooting, Samet says he lives by another motto.

"The truth is love is easier than hate. You don't have to do anything," he said.