Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Adar 5761 - February 28, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Rosh HaMohalim Reb Yosef Dovid Weissberg, zt"l

by Betzalel Kahn

Thousands of Jerusalem residents, headed by HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv as well as by rabbonim, roshei yeshiva, admorim and bnei Torah, participated in last week's levaya of Rosh HaMohalim Reb Yosef Dovid Weissberg zt"l.

Reb Yosef, also known as "Reb Yossel Mohel," was born in Sivan, 5694 (1934). His father, Reb Moshe Dov, was a prominent avreich in the Jerusalem Chassidei Sanz community. His mother, Channa Rochel, whose father Reb Tuvia Elboigen was very close to Satmar, came to Eretz Yisroel under the aegis of the Admor of Satmar in 5692 (1932).

Reb Yossel was orphaned at the age of five when his father passed way. As a result, he suffered much hardship and poverty during his childhood.

His mother later remarried HaRav Shimon Wolf Enreich of Shaimelov, who was known for his piety and expertise in miloh. From him that Yossel learned the meleches kodesh of miloh which he pursued his entire life.

As a result of this meleches Shomayim, Yossel became close with all of the gedolei Yisroel from all circles.

He did not pursue this sacred mitzvah only for parnossoh-- as the thousands of bnei Torah from whom he refused to accept a fee to even cover expenses will testify. He would trudge long distances on freezing days and under a blazing sun in order to perform a bris.

People recall how on snowy winter days when the roads of Jerusalem were blocked to vehicular traffic, R' Yossel would walk all the way to distant Bait Vegan to perform a bris for a Jewish child on time. On Shabbosim and even on Yom Kippur, he would daven vosikin so that he could make it on time to a bris.

Sometimes he had to be at brisim in two distant parts of the city in one morning. His children recall that he rarely was with the family for a Shabbos meal because he was so busy with his meleches hakodesh.

His books Otzar Habris and Otzar Pidyon Haben, which received the recommendations and blessings of gedolei Yisroel, have become classics, along with his other books, published as a Sanz Chossid, such as Sefer Otzar Hachaim and Rabbenu HaKodosh miSanz. He trained others in his field and his many students currently serve as expert mohalim throughout the world.

A year ago, he fell ill and went abroad for an operation. When he returned, he continued in his avodas hakodesh with great mesiras nefesh until nearly his final day. He still performed a number of bris ceremonies on Sunday, Shevat 25.

Later on during the day, he felt weak and was hospitalized in the Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center. He was niftar in the hospital on Wednesday night, 29 Shevat.

At the huge levaya, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, spoke about the niftar's special love and reverence for rabbonon and talmidei chachomim, recalling how he had been very close with HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach,zt"l, often serving as his shaliach in acts of chesed that cannot be disclosed.

The Admor of Novominsk spoke about the niftar's devotion to tzaddikim and of his special emunas chachomim: bequeathed to generations through his seforim.

His son-in-law, HaRav Yosef Yitzchok Lerner, bemoaned the great loss to the family and to Klal Yisroel and spoke about his father-in-law's life and activities.

HaRav Yitzchok Lang delivered a hesped in the name of the mohalim, describing the niftar's unique mesiras nefesh for the mitzvah of miloh and his battles against the breaches which have recently cropped up in this field.

The niftar's brother-in-law, HaRav Yaakov Shemesh, a ram in the Tchebin yeshiva, delivered words of parting.

In the Shikun Harabbonim shul, HaRav Binyomin Adler, HaRav Moshe Aharon Rosental and HaRav Yosef Sharabi, an av beis din in Jerusalem and a friend of the niftar, parted from him.

He was buried beside his mother on Har Hamenuchos. She was niftar at the age of 93, only seven months ago.

He is survived by his wife and his only son, expert mohel Reb Chaim Moshe, as well as by his daughters who are married, respectively, to HaRav Mordechai Weimer, HaRav Yosef Yitzchok Lerner, HaRav Aharon Perlow, HaRav Yehuda Schwartz, HaRav Yaakov Halberstam, as well as by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom are following in his footsteps.


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