In a heartrending incident this past Sunday in New York, a selfless rabbi named Moshe Yosef Reichenberg was electrocuted to death while trying to rescue his eight-year-old neighbor who was trapped under a live cable downed by Hurricane Irene. The boy is reportedly in critical condition.
The rabbi was allegedly driving by when he noticed the trapped child. He stopped his car and tried to free the boy from the cable, but was killed by the high voltage before being successful.
Israel National News reports what happened next:
“It was a horrible scene,” wrote Meir Bernstein of New York’s Kol Hareidi newspaper.
Rescue teams tried to save the rabbi’s life and rescue the child but were forced to stand by helplessly for 20 minutes until electric company crews arrived to cut off the power.
By then it was too late to save the rabbi.
The stormy weather also did not allow a helicopter to land and evacuate the victims, and the child had to wait for half an hour until an ambulance was able to rush him to a Westchester hospital, where doctors said his life is in danger. People are asked to pray for Chaim Reuven Dovid ben Chava Leah.
It is both curious, and, perhaps worth noting, that other reports of this incident – namely one in the AP — merely refer to Rabbi Reichenberg as a “good Samaritan” and do not include his full name, nor the fact the he was a rabbi. Which begs the questions: why?