Remembering Yossie A’H – By: Anonymous

A guy from shul tells me,” A guy I know for years is moving in.  Great guy to have in the shul”.

So a few days later I get the call. I always got the call. “ Tell me about the neighborhood. Tell me about the shul”. Didn’t even catch his name fully . I’ve done this over a dozen times.  “When can I come check out the shul”.  That was a first.  We arranged to meet.  A few nights later, Yossie pulls up.  Imposing figure.  He’ll stick out on stature alone.  Takes a tour. Looks around a bit, seems happy , if not a bit excited.  He’s worried about the rest of the family settling in.

As we are about to part, he turns to me and says. “ Chezki, I’m your guy.  Whatever you need.  I’ll help you turn this shul in something great”.  Didn’t even move in yet.  Good to know someone had my back.

Yossie walks in his first week.  He probably knew a quarter of the people already. Yossie made himself comfortable in the shul right away.  Took his seat at the back table.  It was his from then on.  No one thought of sitting in it, even if he wasn’t there for Shabbes.  It was his.  He made his impression. We all loved him.

I was having a hard time with the shul.  Getting frustrated. Everyone knew  Yossie called me. Spent an hour on the phone with me .  Offered his his support, advice and help.  Talked me off the ledge.  Coming through on what he said to me the first time we met.

When the idea of starting a Sunday daf shiur came up, Yossie was in immediately.  He gave it on occasion

The last time I saw Yossie, we were in the Sunday daf shiur together.  He wasn’t giving that day.  Montebello  is one of  the most chilled places on the planet.  Maybe a little too chill for me and for Yossie.  Davening at 9 , followed by breakfast , followed by the shiur.  We both walked out at 11.  Shiur was still going,  Who could start their day, any day, at 11?  Too much to do. We walked out together rolling our eyes.  But we both loved it .

Why would Yossie move to us only to be taken from us a few months later? Ironic, unfair, a tease. Call it what you want.

This I do know. HKB”H needed to insert Yossie into OUR lives. Montebello need to experience, know, love Yossie, if even for that short time. To make a roshem on us.  To make us better people. To change our lives forever.

I miss him.  We all miss him.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.

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