(Shmuely is a senior in high school right now. He is one of the Sherman boys, who have all written me beautiful letters. Their father, Rabbi Sherman was Yossi teacher, and was one of the speakers at the levaya.-L)

Dear Morah Paley,
Every single person who kept up with Yossi's web page, all 40,000 of them, were touched deeply. I am privileged enough to have known Yossi personally since before his upshuirin. Words can't describe Yossi. How can one capture the essence of an angel with words? I know that you hear many of the amazing stories that happen because of Yossi. It's truly unnatural how a small boy could touch so many thousand's of lives. However, even beyond all those he touched directly you might not hear are the many stories that happen because of Yossi indirectly. I want to share with you one. There is a 12 year old boy in the Yeshiva who's name is Benny Goodman. His family is not religious and he came in not even knowing aleph bais, but he wanted to come. On Tuesday of last week he told his chavrusa that he wouldn't be able to daven Mincha because he had a doctor's appointment at 2:15pm the same time the yeshiva davened Mincha. His chavrusa told him the importance of trying to daven with a minyan. The next day at around 11 in the morning he told his chavrusa that he davened really hard in the morning and asked g-d if he could some way let him daven mincha with a minyan. That same day, a little earlier, I saw on the web page that you asked for as many people as possible to say tehilim at 2 PM exactly. I made sure that in the yeshiva we would reschedule davening so we could do this. Well when his chavrusa heard what Benny said he asked him to go into the hallway where important announcements were hung up. There in the center it was written in big letters "MINCHA WILL BE AT 2pm TODAY". The kid couldn't believe it. Neither could I when I heard the story but than I realized that compared to some of the other things Yossi had accomplished it was like a regular everyday occurrence. I want to end by writing you this"

The journey began inside the body
Of a beautiful innocent boy
Who's heart was filled with the will to live
And who's face radiated joy

The cancer developed when he was nine
We found out in the fall
The doctors said he'd be gone by Thanksgiving
Though it was really too close to call

But all those who knew him cried and begged
For g-d to spare this child
And the family pounded on heaven's door
While the medical bills all piled

And miracle of miracles the cancer died
Instead of the heavenly kid
And he was spared by the prayers and all the kind acts
That those who loved him did

For two years Yossi Chaim lived
Like a normal friend and son
And he did all the things he'd wanted to do
To play, to laugh, to run

And none were more happy than his parents
To see him be a regular guy
At times they's watch him run and laugh
And thanked G-d for him as they'd cry

But G-d had other plans for Yossi
The family soon found out
As the cancer returned it's shadowy cast
And his life was cast in doubt

But this time it wasn't just his family and friends
It wasn't just the city of Richmond
The entire world joined as one
As our prayers joined in unison

And it wasn't only the Jewish people
Who's prayers all came together
For it's people of many religion and races
Who's lives are changed forever

And his parent's faith truly radiated
And it shone ever so bright
And even in their time of unimaginable pain
Their faith gave other's light

And now Yossi's been taken from this world
After all that's been said and done
And G-d himself cried for Yossi
At the funeral of his precious son

And Yossi G-d now sees the impact
You've made on all our lives
You'll be with us in every step we take
In our hellos and especially goodbyes

Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B'soch Shaar Avalai Zion B'yrushalayim
May G-d give you the stength you and your family needs to get through this.

Take me back to see more letters.
Take me back to Yossi's (z"l) main page. 1