Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Reb Yaakov Yosef Weiss, zt"l

from the author of Eye to The Infinite

Yesterday, the world lost a great man. Reb Yaakov Yosef Weiss zt"l.

Little known beyond the small shtetl [now not so small] of Manchester, UK, this man was one of the chief builders of the Machazikei Adass communities of Manchester and responsible for many of the important Yiddishe mosdos and takkonos of the community.

To look at him was to see a gentleman of another era, what we call a fatseitishe Yid. Till his last year, he stood tall and strong, with an inner fire. He was admired by Jew and Gentile alike.

His burning love for his G-d, the holy Torah, and his fellow Jew, regardless of stripe or garb, was noticeable in all he did.

A true talmid chochom, he was fluent in all parts of the Shulchon Oruch (the Code of Jewish Law), particularly the complicated areas of Choshen Mishpot.

His brusque manner belied his true nature, his kindness and love for every Yid, which flowed easily from the tenderness of his pure and holy Neshomoh (soul).

Of course, he had witnessed, first-hand, the horrors of the murder camps of the reshoim y"s (the Holocaust).

The following true story bears witness as much as to G-d's Providence as it does to this man's strong faith and trust in the Al-mighty:

He was a bochur of fifteen/sixteen when herded into the overcrowded infamous gas-chamber. Even then he stood tall and strong. He encouraged his friends at this darkest hour and impressed on them not to loose hope.

As the door to the gas-chamber clanged shut, he remained steadfast. "We mustn't give up hope. G-d can save us at the last minute. Have bitochon!"

They all stood there, most waiting for the inevitable, but he alone, strong in his trust in G-d.

A moment later, the door re-opens and a nazi looks in. "We need a strong boy. Quick! You!", he pointed to him, "come here!"

And so he was saved, from deaths' jaw.

May his memory be a blessing and inspiration to us all.

1 comment:

  1. He was a mere 13 years old when he was taken away to Auschwitz in 1944. The story that took place when he was pulled out of the gas chambers took place the following Simchas Torah, when he together with several other Hungarian boys were saved from certain death in the most remarkable way.
    He served as a shoichet for the Manchester Kehilla for almost 60 years and was reknowned for his dedication and meticulousness to what was always a holy calling for him.
    Besides this he was a member of the Chevra Kadisha for over 40 years leading and inspiring the other members both by his actions and his clear Shiurim explaining all matters to do with this Avoidas Hakoidesh.
    I could go on and on for many more hours writing about a great Yid who I was zoiche to have known and become close to over the last 13 years but my emotions hold me back.
    Mi yitein lonu temurosoi!


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