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The tactical rabbi: Why this young faith leader keeps an AR-15 at his synagogue

Posted at 9:05 PM, May 16, 2019

Raziel Cohen is 22 years old, but don't let that fool you: He's had years of training. Not just with firearms — but in the teachings of the Jewish faith.

"I was born and raised religious, went to religious schools and everything," Cohen said.

He's an ordained Rabbi. If you think a religious leader and expert marksman don't necessarily go hand in hand, think again.

"Just because a person is a faith leader and wants to make the world a better place ... it doesn't mean I am going to be falling victim," Cohen said. "We're not sheep — we're not victims — and we're not going to be just taking this abuse; if we need to defend our families and communities, we absolutely will do so."

Cohen is referring to recent violence at synagogues around the globe and even here in the United States, where the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and a synagogue in Poway, California were attacked with gunfire.

His methods may be a little unconventional, as he has an AR-15 at his place of worship. He recognizes it is still a sacred place, but he wants it to be safe.

"I'm training these people for the worst-case scenario, which means ... people are not just going to be be standing there walking out like it's a fire alarm. They're going to be running ... and panic, and there will be chaos," Cohen said.