Rabbi Binyamin Praga, an Avreich from Modiin Illit, was killed in a sad accident in the Yitav (Uja) Stream in the southern Jordan Valley while on a family outing. He was 44 years old.
Rabbi Praga had traveled with some of his family, including his father, Rav Yerucham Praga. Since there was no cellphone connection in the stream, Rabbi Binyamin hurried forward with his kids when his father started to feel unwell during the journey.
Rabbi Binyamin’s children hastened on to seek assistance as he unfortunately fainted from tiredness and thirst.
Some of the kids became lost on the trail, and those who were able to escape asked for help.
In addition to a military helicopter, a police helicopter, and members of the Megilot rescue squad, about 100 volunteers flocked to the scene.
The grandfather, who was in fair condition, was the first family member discovered.
When two further children, ages 12 to 13, were discovered in the wadi, they claimed to have left their father there in poor condition in an effort to find treatment.
Rabbi Prage was discovered lifeless by volunteers searching the entire riverbed around one in the morning, and a doctor from the rescue squad pronounced him dead.
A teacher in the Midrash Meir Talmud Torah in Modiin Illit was Rabbi Praga z’l. Associates characterized him as “A refined and special person, a true man of education.”
It seems incomprehensible how he, who was so responsible and considerate, could have allowed this to occur.
The family has unfortunately experienced other tragedies in addition to this one. Dovid, the younger brother of Rav Binyamin, perished at the age of sixteen in the Yehudiya stream in the Golan Heights 24 years ago.
A nephew of Rav Binyamin perished in a swimming pool accident at the age of one last Av. At 1:30 PM, Rabbi Praga’s levaya will depart from Shamgar in Jerusalem and arrive at Har Hamenuchos.
It should be mentioned that the Nature Reserves Authority has issued a warning not to enter the Yitav stream on extremely hot days (the Jordan Valley recorded a temperature of above 40 oC or 104 oF on Tuesday).
The leader of the rescue squad advised that carrying 5 liters of water per person, wearing excellent shoes, a hat, and long sleeves, as well as being familiar with the area and route, are all necessary for traveling in the desert during sweltering temperatures.