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Daily Israel Report

Orthodox Rabbi Dies During Tragic Mikveh Immersion at Sea

An Orthodox rabbi accidentally drowned while performing ritual immersion in the sea off of the Aberystwyth resort town in West Wales.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/5/2012, 11:30 AM

police at sea
police at sea
Reuters

An Orthodox rabbi accidentally drowned while performing ritual immersion in the sea off of the Aberystwyth resort town in West Wales.

Dov Berish Englander, 47, described as a highly respected member of London's Orthodox Jewish community, was vacationing at the scenic seaside town of Aberystwyth when he died while immersing himself in the sea, using it as a "mikveh", ritual bath, in the traditional cleansing of the body in a body of natural water that symbolizes a return to purity.

A guest at the hotel called the emergency telephone number after seeing Rabbi Englander struggling at sea.

A lifeboat and rescue helicopter arrived at the scene and the crew pulled the rabbi from the water. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but the rabbi was declared dead at the Bronglais General Hospital in Aberystwyth, The Daily Mail reported.

Rabbi Berish Englander, from Stamford Hill, north London, was described as “highly respected” for his religious knowledge and charitable work. “He was an extremely righteous and very, very prominent and respected rabbi in our community,” said a member of the rabbi’s community.

“He was a good example to all. He was the kind of man you would take your children to meet, to use him as an example to the children,” he said. “He was very kind and generous and gave an enormous amount of money to charity. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.'

Police said they are not treating the incident as suspicious.

In June, Satmar Rabbi Chaim Breisch died after struggling in the sea off the coastal town of Broadstairs, Kent, approximately 80 miles southeast of London.