By COLlive reporter
The parents of the 16-year-old girls who went missing on a Shabbos outing and were found on Sunday afternoon are still trying to get their head around the stress of the past 24 hours.
“We will never forget this miracle and all the Kiddush Hashem that was done,” Tzipora Moshe, a resident of North Miami Beach and mother of Rivka Moshe, told COLlive.com. “I am truly so grateful to Hashem.”
Rivka Moshe and Brocha Katz joined their Bais Chana High School, a division of the Lubavitch Educational Center of Miami, for a Shabbaton at Caribe Cove Resort by Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Kissimmee.
They went for a stroll on Shabbos afternoon and were not seen since, leading to a wide search effort by police and local authorities. They were joined by many volunteers from the Jewish community.
“I don’t understand how this happened,” said the mother, who stayed home with her children, while her husband Ilan Moshe rushed to Orlando to be closer to the search scene and the rescue mission. “I have total trust in the school,” she added.
Over the night and morning, Tehillim was being said and Mitzvos were being done in the merit of the girls. Mrs. Moshe called the saving of her daughter and her friend “a double miracle.”
After a night of searching, helicopters spotted the girls knee deep in a swamp, in a deeply wooded area. It took a few hours for rescue workers to reach them and assist them in walking out because the vehicles couldn’t get close enough to remove them. They were finally brought by helicopter to a waiting ambulance and were reunited with their families.
Mrs. Moshe, a past resident of Crown Heights who currently Davens at Young Israel of Greater Miami, recalls passing by the Rebbe. “The Rebbe stopped me and said a bunch of things in Yiddish. I didn’t understand but a friend said it was ‘very good.'”
“Women from this community went to say Tehillim at the house of Rabbi Yosef Marlow,” Mrs. Moshe said. “We wrote to the Rebbe’s Ohel and kept looking at COLlive the whole time for updates. You guys made the Tehillim a global effort.”
Brocha Katz’s father, R’ Yisroel Katz, told COLlive.com: “It’s unbelievable. My wife collapsed when we heard the good news. It took them a couple of hours to reach the girls and we were on ‘shpilkes.’ I still have anxiety.”
Her sister, Mrs. Devorah Shor wrote on Facebook: “I’ve seen the amazing things that we can do as a nation, a people and a family. I’ve been a part of it. But to now be on the receiving end I see so much more how amazing klal yisrael is.”
She thanked the police, Hatzala “and every volunteer, every person who offered to volunteer, every person who said tehillim, all the schools and kids that Davened, all the special tehillim groups, hakhel events, letters to the Rebbe and other rabbeim of all groups, every person who stayed up all night praying, reaching out, sending support of all types.”