Excerpts from the book "Yossie My Best Friend"

A Chossid Durch Und Durch

Despite his diverse activities and many responsibilities, Yossie was, first and foremost, a hassid of the Rebbe. His devotion to his shlichus was total and expressed in every action. The Rebbe's belief that shlichim should "sow spirituality and reap materialism" was his constant guide. Yossie's heartfelt davening was a source of inspiration. Yossie truly loved every Jew. He preserved his friends' dignity, as in the words of our sages, "It is better to throw oneself into a fiery furnace than embarrass his friend in public."

Ima, Are We Also The Children of Chernobyl?

This comment, by one of Yossie's children, illustrates Yossie's identification with the children of Chernobyl, whose aliyah to Israel he was very involved with, relating to each child as his own. The children of Chernobyl returned this love without bound. They speak about him longingly as though he were their own father who died young and left them orphans. When the girls found out that Yossie was hospitalized, they were shocked. They wept for hours on end, refusing to be comforted, taking turns saying tehillim, staying up nights with their siddurim (prayer books). They remember his shining, smiling face and the presents and candies that he always remembered to bring. He knew them by name and had a good word and smile for each and every one. .Ula expresses the children's feelings for Yossie. “Bli Neder (without making an oath), when, please God, I am a kallah (bride), I will travel to Jerusalem and put my wedding invitation on his grave, and I will ask Rabbi Raichik, in whose merit I have arrived at this day, to be guest of honor at my wedding.”

West East North and South

The world in the 1970s was already a "small global village" for Yossie. He visited Jewish communities in different countries in South East Asia, saved Jewish children from Iran, and brought Jews in South American countries closer to Judaism. The children from Iran remember Yossi's unique personality, and feeling that they were "like a flock of sheep with a shepherd." "R. Yossie Raichik is a great part of who and what I am today, and how my life developed … There always was and always will be a special place for him in my heart." Everyone working with Yossie during that period remembers his unflagging devotion. "He set aside his studies, everything else in his personal life, and the best years of his life, for this great project"

Pillars of Support and Good Friends

The donors, who together with their families, were first and foremost friends whom Yossie was devoted to, -- in hard times, in sad times and in times of joy -- all feel enriched by their friendship with Yossie, and view their contribution to the Children of Chernobyl project as a great privilege. Yossie's relationship with donors is articulated by Lucila who "chose to write about Rabbi Raichik" for a university writing assignment about someone she admired. "I wanted everyone to know who he was, what he did, and how impressive was his labor. I was so happy to share knowledge of his work with others. I was happy that additional people would know about this exceptional man, who was down-to-earth, intelligent, and with a heart that was overwhelmingly unique." Despite the difference in their ages, Neil Book relates, "Yossie’s photograph is on the or turn to him,” he says. "I feel truly blessed to have known him and to have been a small part of his life. I know that he will always be a part of mine.”

A Genuine Friend

Yossie touched people's lives, even if only in a brief encounter. He had a wonderful way of being and connecting and went out of his way to help. We heard countless stories from all over the world, from a wide range of people. Friends in New York told that their first thought when any problem arose, was, "Let's call and ask Yossie." .A mother of a young hatan (bridegroom) recalls that Yossie stopped what he was doing to help her son find the right suit for his meeting with his bride. A ba'alat tshuva remembers Yossie's help in her first steps toward religion and his advice on how to remain on good terms with her parents, who did not observe kashrut or the Sabbath. Friends of longstanding and people met for just a few moments all see in Yossie a true friend.

Yossie Raichik Shul

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 Yossie Raichik. Just say the name and you see him, green eyes twinkling, infectious smile, hands and arms moving, his whole being directed to whatever activity, conversation, or endeavor he is engaged in.

  NEW! U.S. tax deductible contributions are now available!

Ask someone about Yossie and you will hear the same description from people as various and different as people can be. From the millionaire  to the janitor, from the seasoned shliach to a new baal tshuva, from  the businessman to the hippie, everyone was captivated by Yossie's  charm, devotion, passion, humor and care. Everyone was struck by the  care, the concern, the warmth he exuded. "He remembered my birthday,"  "He called me every erev Shabbos," "He sent by kids birthday  presents," "He helped me through a personal crisis," "He always had  a  bright hello for me, even when he was busy or tired," and so on.

Yossie's focus and energies went into every action he took, big or  small, important or mundane. His thoughtfulness and consideration were  matched by his generosity and sensitivity. Yossie did everything big,  even the small things.

Our job therefore, in implementing the Rebbe's directive of "Ha Chai  Yitain el Libo" is particularly challenging. How can we emulate the  work of Yossie, how can we imbue our efforts with his finesse and  enthusiasm?

With projects that have a big impact, but also a down to earth,  practical impact.

To date, in Yossie's name and thanks to his vision, there is a Sefer  Torah in the Ramah Shul in Cracow; now the remnant Jewish population  may gather in prayer, and visitors will find a minyan. A significant  undertaking and accomplishment that improved the every day lives of  fellow Jews and added Kedusha to a once illustrious Jewish city.

To focus the terrible loss felt around the world, with the news of  Yossie's passing, a biography was written, incorporating stories from  loving friends and family. The book was published in Hebrew and in  English and remains a source of comfort and inspiration to those left  behind.

The latest and most ambitious project in Yossie's name is the Yossie Raichik Shul  being built in Kfar Chabad. The Shul to encourage young  men to connect to their tefillos.

Contact Info

Oro Shel Yoseph

NGO: 58-0819-27

P.O.B. 520 Kfar Chabad,
Israel 60840

Phone: (972) 3  9607-499

E-mail: office@oroshelyoseph.org

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