Giffords rabbi: World has been deprived of greatness

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot by a gunman last January, announced that she will resign from Congress.

In a two-minute video released Jan. 22, Giffords (D-Ariz.) said she will step down as she continues her recovery.

Giffords, who is Jewish, was shot in the head at a Jan. 8, 2011 meet-the-constituents event outside a supermarket in Tucson. The gunman, Jared Loughner, who suffers from mental illness, killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords.

The National Jewish Democratic Council wished Giffords, the first Jewish woman to be elected to Congress from Arizona, “continued quick healing on her path to recovery” and looked forward to “the occasion when we can welcome her back to public life.”

Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim, where Giffords is a member, told the Arizona Jewish Post, “I’m very, very sad. It’s an acute feeling that our state, our country, our world has been deprived of a great leader. For her it was the right thing to do. It will take … a lot of strong prayer for Gabby’s continued recovery.” — jta