The rabbi of Kibbutz Gesher Ziv, Rabbi Yosef Haim Hassan, disappeared Monday morning after leaving his home to immerse himself at the nearby Achziv beach.
Rabbi Hassan went to Achziv prior to morning prayers, intending to ritually immerse in the sea. Unfortunately, however, it appears that while at the beach Hassan was swept under and drowned.
Police were called when witnesses reported that a man appeared to have drowned.
Rescue units retrieved the man – who was described as being in his 40s – from the water and attempted to resuscitate him, but were ultimately forced to declare him dead at the scene. Police later identified the man as Rabbi Hassan.
MDA emergency responder Tzvi Zinger recalled the efforts to revive Rabbi Hassan.
“This is a very rocky beach which is extremely difficult to reach; police recovered a man off the coast [who appeared to be] in his 40s, who was unconscious, had no pulse, and had stopped breathing. He was lifeless, and we had no choice but to declare his death there in the field.”
Rabbi Hassan left behind no children.