“To lose such a talmid on Lag B’omer — how can we understand this?”
Yossi Tauber had just arrived in Eretz Yisrael for the first time four weeks ago to begin the zeman at Brisk. A star talmid of Rav Ephraim Wachsman at Yeshiva Meor Yitzchok in Monsey — “our crown,” as the rosh yeshivah referred to him in his heartrending hesped — Yossi stood out from among his peers in Torah and caring for others.
“Yosef Amram was a bochur who had a future of gadlus — gadlus in Torah, gadlus in influencing others, gadlus in yirah,” Rav Wachsman cried. “He was filled with so much insight in Torah, so much hasmadah, so much eidelkeit and wisdom.”
Rabi Akiva lost 24,000 talmidim during the days of Sefirah, he noted, but that plague ended on Lag B’omer.
“To lose such a talmid on Lag B’omer — how can we understand this?” Rav Wachsman exclaimed, sobbing. “Rabi Akiva’s talmidim didn’t treat each other properly — he was such a sweet bochur who treated everyone so nicely, constantly thinking about everyone, how to respect them and be their friend.”
Rav Menachem Weissmandl, the Nitra Rav of Monsey and a great-uncle of Yossi’s, told the Washington Post that he had watched his nephew grow up into a caring and thoughtful person. When the COVID pandemic began and residents of Monsey went into lockdown, he recalled, Yossi busied himself making sure that people had enough food, and he would make telephone calls to those who were alone.
“He was very smart, very charismatic, a lot of fun, good company to be in,” Rav Weissmandl said. “He was an extremely pleasant boy.”
Born to Rav Heshy Tauber — a rav in the Orange County village of Chester and a son of Rav Yechiel Tauber, the celebrated founder of Machon L’horaah — and his rebbetzin, Yossi had just gone to study in Brisk, arriving in Eretz Yisrael for the first time in his life. His visit to Meron for Lag B’omer was his first to the holy site.
His rosh yeshivah, Rav Wachsman, expressed awe at the grace and restraint the parents exhibited after losing such a refined son suddenly. He said he was confident that all the 45 Yidden who were killed in Meron on Rabi Shimon bar Yochai’s day must have had an association with the tzaddik.
“Yosef Amram, you originate from gedolei Yisrael and tzaddikim, and you were on your way to becoming one yourself,” he said. “When you go up to Shamayim, awaken the Middah of Rachamim on us! Gather together all the tzaddikim and tell them that Klal Yisrael cannot stand it anymore!”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 859)
Oops! We could not locate your form.