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Hasidic Jewish community members come together in shared grief

Hundreds of members of the Hasidic Jewish community came together in mourning on Wednesday, for the funeral of a nine-year-old boy who drowned at a New Jersey water park. 

Hersh Meilech Grossman, from Brooklyn in New York, died at Sahara Sam’s water park after going into cardiac arrest in an outdoor pool just after 7.30pm on Tuesday.

As is custom within the religion, the young boy was buried within a day of his death – watched on by his distraught father Moshe Grossman, who stood graveside wiping away tears while embracing his seven-year-old son Sender.

Hundreds of residents lined the street sobbing openly, including the boy’s mother Sheindy, who was embraced by an older daughter and her mother and cousins.  

 

Hersh Meilech Grossman, from Brooklyn, died at Sahara Sam’s water park after going into cardiac arrest in an outdoor pool just after 7.30pm on Tuesday. As is custom within the religion, the boy was buried within a day of his death – watched on by his distraught father Moshe Grossman, who stood graveside wiping away tears while embracing his son Sender

Hundreds of residents lined the street sobbing openly, including the boy's mother Sheindy, who was embraced by an older daughter and her mother and cousins

Hundreds of residents lined the street sobbing openly, including the boy’s mother Sheindy, who was embraced by an older daughter and her mother and cousins

The small pine box was covered in a black velvet sheath with the name of the small beloved synagogue Belzer Talmud Torah on 18th Avenue in Borough Park

The small pine box was covered in a black velvet sheath with the name of the small beloved synagogue Belzer Talmud Torah on 18th Avenue in Borough Park

The coffin was placed on a pitted wooden bench surrounded by numerous men in black orthodox Jewish garb – it contained the body of a nine-year-old boy who drowned the day before on a vacation trip with about 800 of his classmates from the Orthodox Jewish school

The coffin was placed on a pitted wooden bench surrounded by numerous men in black orthodox Jewish garb – it contained the body of a nine-year-old boy who drowned the day before on a vacation trip with about 800 of his classmates from the Orthodox Jewish school

They sat on a bench across from the coffin as her father Rabbi Eckstein said prayers for the tragic young boy. 

The small pine box was covered in a black velvet sheath with the name of the small beloved synagogue Belzer Talmud Torah on 18th Avenue in Borough Park. 

The coffin was placed on a pitted wooden bench surrounded by dozens of men in black orthodox Jewish garb – it contained the body of the nine-year-old, who sadly drowned the day before on a vacation trip with about 800 of his classmates.

It was a day that was supposed to be a fun day in the cooling waters. It turned into a day of heartbreak for the Borough Park community as they said their final prayers for Tzvi (Hersh) Elimelech Yechiel Michel Grossman, who had spent days looking forward to the trip because of the sweltering New York weather.

Despite the best efforts of rescuers doing CPR in front of stunned children, they could not save the boy. 

The mother’s first cousin Joseph Langsom said the family was ‘taking it very hard, just like whole community – he belongs to the Belzer community.’ 

Langsom said his own son was on same trip and came home 1am Wednesday morning and was ‘unaware the boy had died.’

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

The boy's mother and sibling are pictured in tears

The boy’s mother and sibling are pictured in tears  

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

‘This affected most of the community – we are all neighbors, cousins – everyone had someone on this trip so it makes it very personal and for the community – very shocking,’ Langsom said. ‘

‘We believe that the only way to understand this, was to talk to God and we believe it had to occur at the time an the place it did. It wasn’t intentional it is what God had planned for us and we respect God’s plan.’

A young boy, age 12 but would not be further identified, said he was just coming from the waterslide when he saw people doing CPR.

‘I came from waterslide and I wanted to go on another ride but they wouldn’t let me,’ he said. ‘Then, the pool was in the middle of the rides, I saw they were doing compressions on him.’

The boy said that while rescuers were trying to revive the boy, others were standing by saying prayers. ‘I was shaking, the other kids, 10 years old, they don’t really understand what it means to do CPR. 

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

'I came from waterslide and I wanted to go on another ride but they wouldn't let me,' he said. 'Then, the pool was in the middle of the rides, I saw they were doing compressions on him'

‘I came from waterslide and I wanted to go on another ride but they wouldn’t let me,’ he said. ‘Then, the pool was in the middle of the rides, I saw they were doing compressions on him’

Family and friends lifted the small casket, carried it halfway down 51st Street to a waiting hearse

Family and friends lifted the small casket, carried it halfway down 51st Street to a waiting hearse

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

Devastated members of the community come together in shared grief following the tragedy

They thought they were just trying to pump out the water from him. Nobody told us what happened to him till today, we got a call that he was dead – I can’t speak anymore.’

The ceremony featured mostly in Yiddish, spoke about the vivacious young boy who had been looking forward to the outing to cool off from the extreme temperatures of the previous days. 

Then, family and friends lifted the small casket, carried it halfway down 51st Street to a waiting hearse.

While many accepted the death as inevitable, one woman who would not be identified was not so charitable.

‘The park should’ve been watching, the lifeguards were supposed to be watching – you sign a paper before you swim and the the lifegaurds are responsible – it’s a shander (shame) on them,’ she said.

Sahara Sam’s is investigating the incident, a spokeswoman said in a Wednesday statement.

‘We are deeply saddened by the incident and our prayers are with the guest’s family and friends at this difficult time,’ the statement said. ‘We are completing a thorough review of the incident, which occurred during a private event, and working closely with local authorities. The safety of our guests and team members is our first priority.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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