Yonason Fischer Z”L
October 27, 2022
An Unforgettable Eved Hashem
The early years
R’ Yonason Fischer was born in 1980 in Monsey, NY. His grandfather R’ Moshe Shmuel Fischer z”l was one of the pillars of the Viener kehillah in Williamsburg. His father, R’ Yoel Tzvi shlit”a, was one of the founders of the Viener Cheder in Monsey, and R’ Yonason was in the first class.
As a bachur, he learned in the yeshivah of Lucerne, Switzerland, under Rav Yitzchok Dov Koppelman zt”l, followed by several years in Mir and Lakewood. He subsequently married Esti Bixenspanner of Montreal and settled in Lakewood. After learning in kollel for several years, he entered the workforce but remained the quintessential ben Torah.
R’ Yonason would arise every morning at 4:00 a.m. to begin his day. After immersing in the mikvah and opening the doors of the shul, he’d learn for several hours with multiple chavrusas until Shacharis. On Shabbos, when davening started later, he would wake up a little later but still learn for hours before Shacharis. He never came late to Shacharis and was always adorned in his tallis and tefillin before the minyan started.
For several years, he davened in a special minyan which took longer than most minyanim and where everyone davened loudly, working on their avodas hatefillah. Blessed with a beautiful voice, he often served as chazzan for that weekday minyan.
His learning was a treasured part of his days. He spent hours preparing for the rav’s nightly shiur, studying and reviewing the material to make sure he understood it.
Over the last few months, when it was difficult for him to come to shul and maintain his rigorous schedule, he nevertheless made the effort to learn as much as he could and not rest up more, telling his son he hoped when he would soon have a refuah sheleimah and be able to return to his previous schedule. He wanted to keep his momentum and not slacken off.
Kavod beis hamedrash
R’ Yonason was a mainstay of the Chateau Park-Sefard kehillah, under the leadership of Rav Moshe Shimon Wosner shlit”a. He undertook jobs no one else would do and was often found doing mundane tasks for the shul. Besides opening the doors in the morning, he would prepare the sefarim for the shiur and come back to shul early Shabbos afternoon to clean up from kiddush. If the beis medrash wasn’t neat when he arrived early in the morning, he would tidy up.
This past Rosh Hashanah, he was feeling very weak and had to be wheeled to shul. Upon reaching the shul, he made the effort to walk to his seat despite his pain, telling his son he wanted “s’char pesios.”
On Yom Kippur, he managed with great mesirus nefesh to come to shul for Ne’ilah. After Ne’ilah, his son noticed his father bend down, despite the excruciating pain he was in, and pick up a piece of paper from the floor of the beis medrash.
R’ Yonason was the driving force behind the kehillah’s recent move to a brand-new, spacious beis medrash. Whenever the rav made a fundraising trip to Brooklyn to collect funds for the new building, R’ Yonason made sure to come along and represent the kehillah. Nothing was beneath his dignity when it came to ensuring that the mispallelim would have a warm, spacious shul where they could learn and daven.
B’sever panim yafos
He was an extremely happy person and was always complimenting others. Although he didn’t always have it easy—he suffered the sudden loss of his infant son several years ago—he never thought of himself, only of those around him. He was grateful for any favor done to him and often sent people long, beautifully written texts expressing his hakaras hatov.
He had an ayin tovah and a lev tov. Whenever someone in the neighborhood made a simchah, he made sure to send them a gift. Recently, one of his neighbors moved out of the neighborhood, and R’ Yonason, despite his weak state, sent him a nice gift as well as a thoughtful letter expressing his wishes for the person to have much hatzlachah in his new home.
Around Shavuos of this past year, R’ Yonason took ill. He suffered tremendously and underwent many painful surgeries, but he was determined to keep up with his avodas hakodesh as much as possible. He worked very hard on his emunah and bitachon and tried his utmost to always be b’simchah.
On Shemini Atzeres, while spending Yom Tov with his parents in Monsey, R’ Yonason was suddenly niftar. Despite the fact that he hadn’t been well over the previous few months, his petirah at the young age of 42 stunned his family and friends.
On Isru Chag, throngs of shocked family members and friends attended the levayos in the Viener shul in Monsey and the Chateau Park-Sefard shul in Lakewood, which he had helped so much. Kevurah was in the Viener chelkah in Woodridge, NY.
R’ Yonason left behind a wife, nine children, and a kehillah bereft of one of its leaders and friends.
Yehi zichro baruch.