After an all-night search, a man who had not returned to his host’s home this past Friday night, was found in safe condition, b’chasdei Hashem, early Shabbos morning. After the subject’s medical condition was assessed and determined that his life was in possible danger, nearly 100 volunteers canvassed the area for hours until police reported that he had been located.
“What’s most impressive about this story is that so many people gave up a Friday night’s sleep right after Purim to look for someone they never met,” said Yaakov Dorfman of Chaveirim. “People were exhausted; you can be sure this was the last thing they wanted to do, but they did it, real tzaddikim.”
The man, who lives in Eretz Yisrael, was in Lakewood visiting family. He went to daven in a local shul, and when he had not returned several hours later, the family became alarmed and contacted emergency coordinators.
Representatives of Hatzolah, Chaverim and LCSW met and determined that due to the man’s medical condition and the fact that he is not able to speak English, his disappearance could pose a serious threat to his life.
“Every single scenario is different, every search needs its own approach,” said Dorfman. “We have been doing this for a long time and we have a good track record.”
Acting with guidance from Rabbanim, volunteers were summoned to search the area around the Miller and Carasaljo neighborhood, where the subject had disappeared. Posters were hung throughout the town and State Police dedicated a helicopter and several K9 teams to the effort.
Early Shabbos morning, an employee at a store in Jackson recognized the subject, having seen his picture on a poster and contacted police. He had become disoriented and had wandered far from his destination but, baruch Hashem, was healthy.
Dorfman related that one team of searchers had been approached by a well-known Rebbetzin in the middle of the night who asked what they were searching for. Upon hearing the response, she exclaimed, “I just finished saying all of Sefer Tehilim, but now I have to say it all over again.” “I thought there were only people like this in Yerushalayim, but I guess they are here too,” he said.