Rabbi Yona Lunger, a community activist in Miami told Arutz Sheva that many more Jews would have been lost if the building had collapsed in the winter or last year.
“Most of the building’s apartments were owned by Jews,” Lunger said. “Most had mezuzos on the doors. But the fact that this disaster happened now, as well as during the summer, means that a far greater disaster was averted. If it had been a year ago this time, the building would have been filled with Jews from New York fleeing the coronavirus regulations, and if it had been last winter, there would have been hundreds of Jews in the building.”
Rabbi Lunger stressed that everyone should use the utmost caution in publicizing names of people who are thought to be missing.
“There are dozens of Jews missing, but it’s not clear that they were actually in the building at the time of its collapse. People should definitely not be publicizing any names. I personally know a widow who lives in New York and she had no idea that her son and his wife had traveled to Florida on vacation. She only found out from what someone posted, when she saw his name, and it hit her really hard. She’s on her way here right now.”
Rabbi Lunger said that he and other community leaders had to find housing in Miami for many Jews, including the relatives of those missing and the people who have been evacuated from their homes.
“We rented two hotels,” Rabbi Lunger told Arutz Sheva. “One for people who have been arriving from elsewhere, relatives of those who are missing, and the other for local residents who have been evacuated from the neighboring building and the one next to it. You can appreciate that people really don’t want to stay in their homes until they know exactly what happened here and are reassured that the area is safe.”
“In addition, there are hundreds of Jews who have vacation homes in the area that they use primarily in the winter – some of them really luxurious places right on the ocean – and they’re calling up one after the other, begging us to open their homes to people who have no place to go. Mi ke’amcha Yisrael.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)