I hope your trip home went well, and wanted to let you know some of the impact Yossi made. At a meeting yesterday someone asked for an example of "achdus", unity. The best example was Yossi's levaya here. Two hundred people came out on very short notice for someone who had been part of our community for only eight weeks. The time didn't matter. Yossi united this community in a very special way. He was part of our community family and we will miss him, too. His was a true mitzvah.
You wrote that Rabbi Leiff had asked Yossi to be an advocate for Eli Dorfman. My wife and I just returned from the hospital where we are learning to do physical therapy for Eli to, with Hashem's help, bring him out of his coma. I told Eli about Yossi and that Yossi would certainly be helping him from above. With Hashem's help, and Yossi's, we are praying for the best.
One of the questions that you are certainly facing is "Why?" Why did this tragedy happen? In this week's parsha, Moshe asks to understand Hashem's justice; he was denied this knowledge. If Moshe Rabeinu could not be told why, how can we understand it? But, Leah, I think something you wrote can help to answer the other question, "Why now?" Why did Hashem take Yossi six weeks before he became Bar Mitzva?
On March 11, you wrote that "Yossi Chaim returned his pure and holy neshama (soul) to his Creator." Yossi was a tzaddik. He united people not only here, not only in Richmond, but across the world. He led them to greater mitzvot, to greater tzedaka, to greater tefila. On the Scale of Judgement, Yossi's mitzva side was overflowing. In six weeks, Yossi would have been Bar Mitzvah. At that time, he would be legally (halachically) responsible for any averas, even if committed accidentally. Something could have been added to the other side of the scale. Because his neshama returned *before* he became Bar Mitzva, that side of the scale was not yet open. There was nothing to counterbalance his many, many mitzvot. His neshama truly was pure - completely pure - in a way it could not have been just six short weeks later. We will never know why Hashem called Yossi back, but you can take comfort in knowing that Yossi returned to Hashem completely pure, a true tzaddik.
May Hashem comfort you and help you through these difficult times. May you take solace in knowing how much good Yossi did and will continue to do. Hamakom y'nachaim eschem bsoch sh'ar Tzion v'Yerushalayim.
Take me back to see more letters.
Take me back to Yossi's (z"l) main page.