Public letter from Rabbi Benzion Korf, Head Master of Lubavitch Educational Center in Miami, Florida:
It is with profound humility that we offer our thanks to Hashem Yisboraich for His great kindness in miraculously keeping our two Beis Chana students safe and unharmed during this past weekend’s ordeal.
There is no doubt that the merit of being talmidos in the Rebbe’s school was the source of the brocha and intervention on high that guarded them from harm and ensured the successful outcome.
It is almost impossible to describe the emotional intensity of the 24-hour ordeal to find and rescue our girls. The ups and downs, the hope and worry, watching the parents as they arrived on the scene, terribly anxious for their children—all of which was met with a tremendous outpouring of support from the entire Jewish community worldwide.
United in our purpose, we focused on keeping the rest of the students calm and comforted, working with law enforcement and providing them with whatever support we could, till the joyful moment when we found out there was a sighting.
When their identity was finally confirmed, all present broke into spontaneous dancing and singing, hugging and kissing. The overwhelming joy the parents felt at that moment, the tremendous relief when we actually saw the girls—scratched and bruised but, Boruch Hashem, unharmed—cannot be described.
Calls to help came in from all over the world, starting with the Shliach in Orlando, Rabbi Yosef Konikov, and his brother Rabbi Chaim Z. Konikov.
The Lubavitch Educational Center staff and security team immediately mobilized and drove up to help the situation, Hatzalah, Chesed Shel Emes, the shul of Bal Harbor and many other individuals and groups of all persuasions soon joined.
Their efforts were bolstered by calls to provide funds, if needed, to get special equipment, Tehilim and prayers from all over the world, and the involvement of Governor Rick Scott and the Florida State commissioners to utilize every resource available to ensure a positive outcome.
Even the manager of the resort where the girls were staying, who had never before put on Tefillin, did so on their behalf.
What was most inspiring was the unity of Klal Yisroel and the shared eagerness to help another yid. I am reminded of my Shabbos drasha this very week in shul on the posuk “Adam ki yiheye b’or bsaroi The Gemora says “Atem k’ruyim Adam” You are referred to with the term Adam, why is this? One explanation given is that Adam can only be used in the singular form, as opposed to other terms for man, which can be said in the plural. This is because Jews are one wherever they are and care for each other like one body.
While it is impossible to give my personal thanks to so many people individually, all of whom gave their heart and soul to this rescue mission, to each and every one, I would like to express my profound gratitude.
It is you who have strengthened my emunah and trust in Hashem, and have shown me that we are truly an am echod—a united nation, and clear indication to our meriting the arrival of Moshiach NOW!