Remembering Yossie A’H – By: Veta Gewirtz

Riki,

what you wrote is so beautiful. I sat down this week to write something and so much of what I had written and the adjectives I chose were the exact words that you used.

It’s so hard for me to write about your father because it’s not just one impactful story that I have. It is years. So many years of memories our families shared. I grew up in your house and watched your family evolve and grow. Even as the issues changed, your father’s passion for life, yiddishkeit, and his family were constant. He was such a hands on father and as a little girl I completely understood that. I believe it was your father who coined my nickname “Veeters”, and I always loved being around your family.

I admired your family’s Purims and all the things that your father did that was way ahead of the times (the personalized shaloch manos and your over the top New York Bas Mitzvah.)
Riki, as a friend it is not lost on me how you unapologetically stand up for what you believe in, never shying away from doing what is right. You are so much like your father in that regard. I remember you asking for things as kids and his initial reaction being no, but then he would think, look into it, and the next thing you knew he took it to the next level. He didn’t just let you have it but he wanted it to be the best experience for you.

I remember how proud your father was to welcome his first son in law into his home, and how he would come over to talk Torah w my father and brothers over a bottle of wine. I picture him beaming at the Pideyon Haben for Efraim. His love for you all was so abundantly clear.
I can’t believe a year has passed since the world lost your father. Your father touched so many and it is a loss for everyone who knew him, and even those who didn’t but benefited from his countless acts of chesed.

Everything your father did was 110%. I always knew he was a doer and a strong person but as an adult I appreciate it so much more. He was probably only a few years older than us when he ran to save lives on 9/11, connected with boys at our place, or even joined shomrim and ran into neighbors houses late at night with a baseball bat.
Your parents gave you a beautiful example of a loving Torah home and I watched you be so strong this year despite the pain you are in.
Your father’s neshama should have an aliyah and we should be zoche to moshiach very soon.

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