Is Yosi Peloni Going to Hell?

Tel Aviv

Man drowns for refusing help

Yosi Peloni fell into the Nahal Yarqon and headed down river for the Mediterranean. His friends yelled at him to come back to shore. But he didn’t think he was in trouble. He knew he was a good swimmer.

Besides, the danger of it was becoming a thrill. He began to enjoy riding the swirling current.

His frantic friends threw an ice chest to him, but he pushed it away. “Don’t need it!” he yelled back.

Soon he entered white rapids roaring over deadly hidden objects. He quickly realized he was now in peril. But by then it was too late. The current was so strong he didn’t have strength to resist.

Down river, spectators saw he was in trouble and tossed ropes out to him. But he was too water-beaten and disoriented to grab them. He swept on by, seemingly beyond help.

And so it went for miles.

Then a hundred meters before the river poured over the spillway and dropped onto rocks eighty feet below, a water patrol boat sped toward him.

Two husky rescue guards threw him a tethered orange life-preserver. All he had to do was lift an arm, grab onto it, and he would be safe. His “life” was floating in the water just in reach. His death was quickly approaching.

Then, in the final moments, Yosi was overcome by a blinding survival euphoria.

He was okay after all; he’d made it. His strength had prevailed. He wasn’t worried about going over the spillway. He’d survive that too. He was a gever, a mensch. His life was his own. Everything was in his hands.

He raised his arms in triumphant self-confidence and let the preserver drift away.

As it is written,
“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord Adonai, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? ... I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies” declares the Lord Adonai. “Therefore, repent and live.”(Ezekiel 18:23, 32)

As it is written,
“I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47)
“I tell you ... unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)