‘Sometimes We Cry’

Stand for Israel  |  July 1, 2021

IDF at site of Florida condo collapse, June 2021
(Photo: twitter/IDF)

As we see time and again, when Israel’s international friends and neighbors experience difficulty or face tragedy, the Jewish state offers a helping hand. The IDF’s history of showing its heart even featured in the very final message from Rabbi Eckstein before his unexpected passing. And in the wake of the tragic condo collapse in Florida, Israel Hayom reports that America’s Israeli friends have arrived to help respond to the unthinkable:

“Sometimes we cry. It’s natural. We are working together. We talk every night… We share and it gives us strength,” Vach, commander of the IDF’s National Rescue Unit, said.

Vach says the Surfside collapse – which happened last Thursday and has killed at least 11 people with about 150 still missing as of Monday – is one of the most difficult and complicated he has ever seen because the floors of the 12-story condo have collapsed on top of one another, like a stack of pancakes…

Meanwhile, Rabbi Ariel Yeshurun, a graduate of the Ohr Torah Stone network’s Straus-Amiel Institute, is providing help of a different kind. Yeshurun has set up a response center to help families directly affected by the collapse which has attracted people from all walks of life, of all religious faiths, backgrounds and ethnicities.

Since early Thursday, the rabbi and a team of volunteers have been providing a network of services, consolidating and centralizing collection of supplies and serving as a drop-off point and distribution headquarters. The supplies are then trucked to the Surfside reunification center, where the families of the unaccounted for are staying, as well as to local synagogues located near the site.

“The nature of the collapse has been particularly challenging for all involved. We are forced to face a reality where there is less and less hope of finding survivors and we need to be prepared and plan ahead for the likelihood of dozens of funerals,” Yeshurun said sadly…

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