BDE: Reb Raphael Yaacov Blugrond Falls To His Death While Picking Lulav


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Reb Raphael Yaacov Blugrond, z’l, 75, who lived in the frum community in Baltimore for many years, fell to his death on Sunday night in northern Israel after apparently climbing a palm tree to pick a lulav.

The niftar was found on Road 90 between Kfar Korazim and Kfar Nachum.

MDA paramedics confirmed his death and ZAKA Northern District volunteers were called to the scene and tended to kavod hameis.


Reb Blugrond, z’l, was born and grew up in Tzfat and as an adult moved to the United States, where he lived in Baltimore for many years. He later moved back to Israel and settled in his hometown of Tzfat, where he was dedicated to the Ari shul, serving as the gabbai.

A loving father and grandfather, he left behind four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“A 75-year-old man apparently stopped at the side of the road to pick lulavim and fell from the tree,” said ZAKA volunteer Moti Cohen.

“When we arrived at the scene, we found that man lying lifeless next to a tree behind the guardrail with multi-system injuries. A MDA paramedic could do nothing but confirm his death.”

The circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the police.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. There was so, so much more to this man than can be put into print. Just a few:
    Brave IDF leader, who fought fierce battles in the Yom Kippur War and other battles.
    Day School principal.
    Rav Hamachshir for international brands.
    Baki b’Shas.
    That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Why was a 75-year-old man climbing a tree to cut lulavim? To answer that, you’d have to have known him. One of the most colorful characters you’d ever want to meet!

  2. “The circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the police”
    Hopefully, YWN will keep us informed as to the outcome of this tragedy. I just doesn’t make sense that a 75YO educated yid driving down a road at night by himself would knowingly pull over the guardrail w/o a ladder and try to “climb” a palm tree to “pick a lulav” which could be purchased at literally hundreds of outlets nearby at a reasonable price. Was this some special “mehader palm tree like an esrog from Unbria? It doesn’t make sense on the surface so I’m glad the police are investigating.

  3. Yaakov was a wonderful who would help anyone with anything in any way he could. Long before today’s security issues if you looked closely between his Beketshe and Tallis (he was well trained and had the Rabbis permission) you could see a 45 pistol on his hip. Hamokom Yinachem