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The Elderly Jews Who Celebrate Shabbat at Wendy’s Have a Powerful Response to Pittsburgh

wendy's shabbat

On a Friday night at Wendy’s in Southern California, a group of senior citizens gather to celebrate Shabbat with milkshakes, fries, and chili, as is their tradition. Only this time, everything feels quite different.

Tearing up, an elderly man says, “I don’t handle this sort of thing well.”

“It’s just hard to believe that anybody can have so much hate,” a woman shares.

In this brief followup to Wendy’s Shabbat, a heartwarming short film about a group of elderly Jews who celebrate the weekly Sabbath at a local Wendy’s, Director Rachel Myers asks how they felt after the Pittsburgh shooting that took the lives of 11 Jews just weeks ago.

“These are human beings there in a house of prayer, and they don’t deserve to have this happen to them,” says one woman.

“We have to learn how to live together,” shares another.

Between solemn sentiments on the Squirrel Hill tragedy, we see the elders sitting around a large table making hamotzi — the blessing for bread — and welcoming the Sabbath queen at a synagogue.

“When you scratch the surface, we’re all alike,” a woman says. “And the sooner everyone knows that, the better off we’ll all be.”

The video ends with several elders repeating the same word: Tolerance. “That’s the bottom line to everything.”

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