HaRav Yosef Batzri zt"l, one of Yerushalayim's eminent
figures, passed away last week at the age of 94.
HaRav Batzri was born on the 2nd of Shevat 5670 (1910) in
Yerushalayim to R' Sasson, who was from a family of rabbonim
and dayanim in Bovel, and his mother Mas'udah, whose
mother was the Ben Ish Chai's sister and whose father, R'
Yehuda Somech, was from one of Bovel's distinguished
In his youth Rav Batzri studied at Yeshivat Porat Yosef where
his cousin, HaRav Yehuda Tzadkah, was his chavrusa. He
was tested and received a semichoh certificate. Years
later he taught there and took care of the yeshiva library.
At the age of 18 his mother married him to the granddaughter
of HaRav Yehuda Pethayya, author of Beit Lechem
Rav Batzri was constantly involved in acts of chesed
with the people of Yerushalayim, both in gashmiyus and
ruchniyus. Driven by a desire to engage in zikui
horabim, he would organize tefillos at holy sites,
including the graves of the Ovos and kivrei tzaddikim
in the Galilee and other parts of the country.
He was active in providing assistance and anonymous monetary
gifts to needy families. He would receive everybody
graciously and happily.
His haberdashery in Beit Yisroel was widely known although it
was only open for a few hours in the morning and afternoon.
At other times he could be found at Beit Knesset Beit Aharon,
where he served as gabbai for over fifty years.
Integrity, decency, loyalty, modesty and an ability to make
do were deeply ingrained in him. He would mark the kupos
tzedokoh in his store with precision and arrange them
carefully. Swift and resourceful, he knew how to provide for
others before they even articulated their needs, and he would
make them feel as if they were doing him a favor by accepting
Until his final days he would study Torah and one of
seforim he liked most was Yalkut Mei'am
HaRav Yosef Batzri zt"l is survived by his sons HaRav
Sasson, one of the rabbonim of Ahavat Shalom; HaRav Ezra, an
av beis din in Yerushalayim and rosh yeshivat Ameilei
Torah; HaRav David Batzri, rosh Yeshivat Hashalom; and HaRav
Menachem Batzri, head of Succath David Institutions.