Tom Hanks invokes Mister Rogers in discussion of synagogue shooting

November 26, 2018

Tom Hanks shared some of Mister Rogers’ wisdom in a discussion of the shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue that left 11 worshipers dead.

Hanks, who has spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh lately filming Fred Rogers biopic “You Are My Neighbor,” recalled the television icon’s famous advice on what to do in times of tragedy: “look to the helpers.”

He briefly discussed the shooting with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King in a wide-ranging interview Thursday.

“We drove past (Tree of Life) synagogue 16 times in the course of while we were there,” said Hanks, who plays Rogers in the upcoming movie. “And we always thought ’what a great name for a synagogue.”

Rogers’ oft-repeated refrain about “the helpers” is a reminder that good ultimately triumphs over evil, Hanks said.

“Yes, a horrible thing has happened, but you cannot give up hope,” Hanks said. “Everybody comes out and helps, and guess what, it is possible to love thy neighbor with no exceptions.”

He was referring to a sign he’d photographed in front of a Pittsburgh home early last month which read “Love Thy Neighbor, No Exceptions.”

He tweeted the photo in early October, then again following the shooting, saying it demonstrated the “spirit of Pittsburgh.”

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