Hundreds of Jews break the sanctity of the Sabbath to save a life – that couldn’t be saved

Deborah Stubin missing flyer
Source: Passaic Police Department

The Daily Mail covers the discovery of Devorah Stubin’s car and body: a 22 year old woman who suffered from occasional seizures and became lost in Maywood, NJ last Thursday night after exiting the Garden State Parkway. NJ.com reports on the community turn-out to search for Devorah and bring her home:

Hundreds of members of the Orthodox Jewish community from around the tri-state area flocked to Passaic Friday as news surfaced of the missing 22-year-old.

“It’s amazing how many people gave up their Sabbath to come help in the search,” said Leat Kuzinar, a family friend. “There were 200 to 300 people, more than what we needed.”

On Saturday Wallington police said a car found submerged in the water matched the description and license plate of Stubin’s, who was driving a gray, four-door 1998 Mitsubishi Galant.

On Sunday, authorities confirmed the body had been identified as Stubin.

Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, NJ writes:

Today is Motzei Shabbos the 6th of Shevat 5776 and January 16, 2016

True Chessed

Shocked, stunned, numbed, and speechless; these are just a few of the words which describe our feelings this Motzei Shabbos.

As Shabbos came to a close all of us were informed that the massive search for the safe return of Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus and the Tefillos which were being said on her behalf have been halted.

As Shabbos ended the news travelled quickly that Devorah Stubin was not coming home.

Our hopes for her safe return were dashed as news of her demise was quickly disseminated in the Jewish world and beyond.

Plans for a celebration when she would be found were now replaced with arraignments for a funeral.

I did not know Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus; many who did tell me she was indeed a special Neshama.

I did not know her; however, I do know many of those who sacrificed Shabbos with their families to spend Shabbos in Maywood, New Jersey in the cold and in the rain.

Jews from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey, Teaneck, Elizabeth, Passaic, Clifton and other places all joined together through their hearts and hands left the comfort of their homes and their families to search and attempt to find a young woman whom they never had met.

They survived on an hour of sleep here and there and on high energy caffeinated beverages throughout the day.

They did not care about hot Chulent or warm beds; they did not think about what Shul they should go to or not go to; their focus was singularly on the finding of Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus.

No one cared if you were Chassidish or Litvish, Modern or Open Orthodox; if you wear a hat or if you wife wears a Shaitel or a Tichel, all they cared about was Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus.

Dozens and dozens and volunteers left their warm beds this Shabbos to help find a young woman whose name most had never heard of before Thursday evening.

The togetherness and the unity allow me to feel consoled and that is good.

The outcome was not what he davened or hoped for; however, the display of unity is what we daven for.

I was privileged to count among the many volunteers who gave up their Shabbos for Devorah’s sake two of my own sons.

Both of them spent hours and hours searching and looking for Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus.

This morning at 7 o’clock my son and I left the house together.

He was on his to search for Devorah and I was on my way to search for Hashem.

Before I headed to Shul I walked him to his car.

I proudly stood by as he entered the car and gave him a brocha for success.

As I watched him pull away from the curb, I thanked Hashem for giving me children who care enough about His children to know that sometimes serving Him means even driving on Shabbos.

As Shaya turned the corner, I turned to Shul.

As I walked I wondered which one of us was the one to emulate: the rabbi on his way to Shul or the rabbi’s son on his way to find a lost Jew.

If Not Now, Then When? ~ Hillel

Indeed. It was clearly Rachel’s time to reunite with Hashem, but even many who did not have the chance to know her – like me – are feeling her loss. RIP, Miss Rachel … May your family and friends find comfort in the loving embrace of Our Creator and may you find eternal joy at Hashem’s right hand.

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