Rosh Hashanah at Shul of Bal Harbour: Rabbi comforts families of building collapse victims

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown on Monday and ends on Wednesday evening, is more than just the Jewish New Year. It is a time for family to be together, so it will be a somber one for all of those who lost loved ones in the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside.

From the moment a section of the 12-story building collapsed on June 24th, the nearby Shul of Bal Harbour played a critical role through counseling, connecting families, collecting donations, and fundraising. It was a place where the community came together.

For months, Rabbi Zalman Lipskar, of the Shul of Bal Harbour, has been committed to supporting the grieving families and friends of the victims. On Rosh Hashanah, he is expecting many of them to join him in prayer.

“I’ve been involved in every aspect of their lives. Some I knew beforehand, some personal friends, some I just met after this tragedy and we formed an incredible bond based on love and connection,” Lipskar said.

Lipskar said there have been many questions he has been unable to answer about the tragedy.

“You ask yourself the question, ‘Why?’ But if we had the answer we would be God. We don’t have those answers,” Lipskar said. “What we say to God this Rosh Hashanah is that, ‘We are still here. Through all the pain, through all the tragedy, we are still showing up.’

Lipskar’s prayer: “God, we need you to show us that love, give us that hug, give us the best year ever.”

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.