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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Quote Clarification in Suicide Prevention Article

Thank you for the article “Suicide: The One Word We Should Never Avoid” by Phil Jacobs in the January 15, 2016, issue. I do, however, want to clarify my quote in the second-to-last paragraph, since part of what I said was left out and it changes the context of the quote.

The paragraph reads:

Or, as Cohen added, “You have to trust in Hashem, and all things do happen for a reason,” she said. “But we’re talking about medical reasons. We can’t see them. Someone might say your feelings are ‘all in your head.’ No, they are all in your brain. So, yes, trust in God, but also trust in medicine.

However, the preface to that quote was actually: “Some people might say.”

I was saying that “some people might say that ‘you have to trust in Hashem and that all things happen for a reason’—but we’re talking about medical reasons...”

I would never presume to dictate to others who or what they have to believe/trust in.

Dena Cohen

Executive Director, Refa’’enu

[email protected]

True Chesed: The Search for Devorah Stubin z”l

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 traveled 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 arrangements 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, and 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 your wife wears a sheitel or a tichel; all they cared about was Devorah bas Shoshanah Rus.

Dozens and dozens of 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 we davened or hoped for; however, the display of unity is what we daven for.

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

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 way 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 bracha 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.

Ron Yitzchok Eisenman,

Rabbi, Congregation Ahavas Israel

Passaic, NJ

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