Shortly before Shabbos last week, Friday 2 Iyar, 5773, a huge crowd of mourners accompanied to its final resting place the bier of HaRav Yaakov Yosef, Rosh Yeshivat Chazon Yaakov, rav of the Givat Moshe neighborhood and son of HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Nosi of the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah. He returned his soul to his Maker after an illness, at the age of sixty-eight.
HaRav Yaakov Yosef was born in Yerushalayim on Motzei Simchas Torah of 5706, the second son to his father, from whom he drew his great aspiration to grow in Torah and disseminate it to the masses.
He acquired the bulk of his knowledge in Yeshivat Porat Yosef and garnered the favor of the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Yehuda Tzadka, as well as in Yeshivas Kol Torah where he was also singled out by the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. After his marriage, he studied in the Kol Yaakov kollel and in Mossad HaRav Kook in Yerushalayim.
At the age of twenty-eight, when his father was appointed the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, he was asked to fill his place and deliver shiurim in the Borochov Beit Knesset in the Bucharim section.
For the rest of his life, he delivered dozens of shiurim throughout the entire week, even during the advanced stages of his illness and between one session of therapy and another.
He founded Yeshivat Chazon Yaakov in memory of his grandfather, HaRav Yaakov Ovadia.
A year and a quarter ago, he contracted a disease in his spleen and when it was diagnosed, his doctors predicted that he had barely three months more of life but he rallied and continued teaching Torah while many, many people prayed fervently for his recovery. During this last period, he toiled over a Torah work which was prepared for printing.
On Sunday a week ago, he left his home to deliver his last shiur. On the following Thursday, his condition took a change for the worse and he was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Karem. He restored his soul to his Maker on Friday, at 3 p.m., surrounded by a large crowd including many rabbonim: HaRav Yaakov Adess; HaRav Shlomo Amar; HaRav Reuven Elbaz, Rosh Yeshivat Ohr HaChaim, and HaRav Benayahu Shmueli, Rosh yeshiva Nehar Shalom, who recited Tehillim, verses of Yichud, the Thirteen Middos and Shema Yisroel.
Within two hours, the funeral already began making its way from the Borochov Beit Knesset in the Bucharim section, with a massive throng of people gathering there and filling the entire course of the funeral procession up till Har Hamenuchos. His father, HaRav Ovadia Yosef, announced that only those who were planning to spend the Shabbos in Yerushalayim would be permitted to participate.
The deceased left behind a father and eight children. His sons are HaRav Ovadia, HaRav Amram, HaRav Avraham Binyamin, HaRav Yonnatan and HaRav Moshe. His brothers: HaRav Yitzchak Yosef, Rosh Yeshivat Chazon Ovadia; HaRav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Holon; HaRav David Yosef, Rosh Beit Hamedrash Yechave Daat and Rabbi of Har Nof, and HaRav Moshe Yosef.