Jewish hiker describes desert ordeal


(JTA) — A Jewish hiker recounting his survival experiences stranded in the desert said he tried to say as much of the Shema Yisrael prayer as he could remember.

Edward Rosenthal, 64, at a news conference Tuesday described his ordeal in which he lost his way in the canyons of the Joshua Tree National Park after intending to hike for four miles on a familiar trail. He had taken only about a pint of water with him.

Rosenthal told reporters that he experienced a "miracle" when he prayed for rain and "10 seconds later it rained." He said he had not been a very devout Jew but tried to say as much of the Shema as he could recall.

The prominent Los Angeles real estate broker was rescued Sept. 30 deep in a canyon where he had lain in the shade for several days. Rosenthal estimated that he lost 20 pounds during his ordeal.

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