Update: Rav Dovid Feinstein Paskens The Bauman Family Should Not Sit Shiva

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UPDATE: Harav Dovid Feinstein has issued a Psak for the Bauman family after Rabbi Reuven Bauman went missing at sea while saving a talmid.

Rav Dovid ruled that the family should not sit Shiva unless a body is found.

The Coast Guards called off their search for Rabbi Reuven Bauman at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, after having searched about 347 square nautical miles, which translates to about 459 square miles.

Volunteers from Hatzolah and other organizations are continuing the search in hopes of recovering a body and allowing Rabbi Bauman to have a proper kevura.

Rabbi Bauman was pulled into the surf after jumping into the water to rescue a teenage boy who was caught in the riptide. He was able to rescue the boy, who was taken to the hospital and is recovering, but then was pulled into the water himself.

*The following message was just sent out by Rabbi Bauman’s parents’ Shul.* 

Because rabbis in a number of communities are involved in determining the proper course of action regarding the tragic loss of Rabbi Reuven Bauman, different interpretations of the halacha were offered.

This complex question was brought to ha-Rav Dovid Feinstein shlita, who determined that the family should not sit shiva unless a body is found.  Therefore, shiva will not be observed by the Bauman family at any location at this time.

The earlier message sent out about shiva contained information provided to us at that time by the Bauman family.  We will continue to provide updates as information is made available to us by the family.

Please note that a fund overseen by Rabbanim has been set up to help the family.  To donate to this fund, please go to https://www.charidy.com/baumanfamily




  1. Hashem should send the family a nechama and give them strength to go on. And they should only have good things and besoros tovos from here on.

  2. מי במים ומי באש
    Who thinks when saying these words how tragic they can be. How tragic indeed! The שמחה on this Rebbi’s face must have filled his precious talmidim with אהבת ה’, אהבת ישראל and אהבת התורה. The love on his face must have radiated his charges with an amazingly deep impression as Rabbeyim are apt to do. What a tragic loss. May the only one who can possibly be מנחם the family and his talmidim who were seemingly also his family with a נחמה. May we be זוכה to ובילע המות לנצח and תחיית המתים really soon.

  3. May we hear besuros tovos.

    Camps and Yeshivos should institute a non-swimming day on “Vav Tammuz”, an ominous day for swimming, as several chassidishe camps and private people have been doing for years.

    • Apparently they were not swimming, they were there walking around and playing ball. A few boys rolled up their pants and went into the water, and 1 of them had gone a little to far out and was caught in a rip current. The Rebbi went in to pull him out but got caught and unfortunately got pulled in from the rip current.
      DO NOT TRY TO FIGHT A RIP CURRENT EVEN THE STRONGEST SWIMMER CANNOT FIGHT IT!! If someone is ever caught in 1 they should remain calm, tread and let the current take you out and you are able to swim through its boundary (they usually die out b/w 50-100 yards), once out of it you should swim parallel to shore until you are out of it. You can tell you are out of it when you swim into breaking waves. Then swim diagonally, away from the current, back to shore.

  4. Boruch dayan emes.
    What a terrible loss, and what an amazing man he was to risk and r”l lose his own life to save one of his charges.
    Yehi zichroi boruch.

  5. I will continue to daven for this Rabbi’s holy neshama; you can see the goodness and tzidkus immediately on his face.
    Even though I did not know him personally, my heart is broken and your loss is the loss of Klal Yisrael. You are not alone; all of Klal Yisrael loves you and will help you through this tragedy. We are one people in simcha; and one in times of great avel. May Hashem give you the koach and chizuk you need and may your family know from only simcha. HaMakom Yenacheim Etchem Betoch She’ar Aveilei Tzion V’Yerushalayim. There are no words…..

  6. May we make use of this tragedy by being מתבונן , be tolerant of one another, be less judgmental, and increase חסדים in our interpersonal relationships . As of now, there is much hostility and hatred within our מחנה.

  7. If their Rov paskened to start sitting at 12:40 that means their is still hope of him being found alive at least until then.

  8. Whos is their Rav? Which Gadol did he consult?
    It sounds erroneous to me.
    Isn’t this a case of מים שאין להם סןף ?

  9. I had the same doubts of Ben Dovson and thank you for posting this update.

    Please it would be interesting to post the relevant halachot if someone could compile a review.

    • there are numerous stories of pple being lost at sea and floating. I read about one man that was only 100 meters away from the boat that was looking for him and they didn’t spot him even while they were right next to him by sea and air… Hashem yaazor that he is found alive and well bekarov.

  10. There is some sort of segula where bread is baked for the zechut of the person who drown and a candle is lit and sent to float on water, with ten people present saying certain pasukim of tehilim .
    Is this a segula they can do?

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