Staten Island, NY – Approximately 500 people turned out this morning at the Young Israel of Staten Island to bid farewell to Dovid Winiarz, a 49 year old local man known for his communal activities and his outreach efforts on Facebook, using social media to bring unaffiliated Jews back to their religious roots.
As previously reported on VIN News, Winiarz was killed in a fatal collision yesterday, caused by icy road conditions on his way to a kiruv convention in the Baltimore area.
Winiarz was eulogized by Reb Reuven Feinstein, Rabbi Dovid Harris, Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfeld, his sons Shaya and Eli, his son in law Yosef Simon, his brother Shmuel and his mother, Mrs. Chaya Subar.
Mrs. Subar beamed with pride as she spoke passionately about her son.
“What mother would not be beyond, beyond proud to hear all the words that were spoken. I have been proud since January 2, 1966, when my baby boy was born.”
Mrs. Subar addressed the suddenness of her son’s passing.
“Hakadosh Baruch Hu gave us a gift for 49 years and he wanted his gift back,” said Mrs. Subar. “I don’t blame him. You think a short life? No. He filled into these 49 years many lifetimes. That is the gift this neshama left us. Let’s not waste it. ”
Mrs. Subar urged everyone in the room to continue her son’s legacy.
“That is the greatest kavod we can give this neshama by continuing his philosophy. His philosophy was ‘a pintele yid is noch a yid’. Every Jew is precious no matter what label they carry…He knew that well and he practiced it well and that is what we have to do now is to continue the gifts that he left us.”
Speaking of his father’s passion for outreach, Winiarz’s eldest son Shaya recalled how he would say, “Wherever I go, I am going to plant seeds. Hopefully they’ll grow one day. It’s not my job to decide if they grow or not. That will be Hashem’s job. I just have to plant seeds.”
Shaya also recalled how one of his father’s Facebook followers was out of state while his mother was hospitalized in Manhattan and how his father decided to go into city to perform the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim. Not wanting to squander his travel time driving, Winiarz elected to take the train and use the time to spread simcha among his fellow travelers.
“He took 100 or 200 of his ‘Keep Smiling’ cards and he went on the train to Manhattan. He walked up and down the entire train giving everyone two cards. ‘Here’s a smile for you and give one to someone else.’ He just wanted to make other people happy.”