By Itty Chazan
One night I entered the basement of the Avtzon family, fleeing from the fire that ravaged on Carroll Street. We had been invited to their warm accommodations as we had no home. Suddenly, moments after arriving, Yonah Avtzon walked in. With his typical friendly smile and easygoing mannerism, he welcomed us, while removing a Mechitza from the side cupboard.
Turning to us, Yonah lightly commented: “There are interviews here in my office nightly. Should you need to enter or leave the basement, I am setting up this Mechitza for interview privacy.”
Fathers, mothers, Bachurim and girls, availed themselves to this special interview.
To each one, Yonah gave his heart and soul. Listening with his clear blue eyes, he absorbed every detail conveyed to him, his computer mind already contemplating a possible match. Do you know the feeling of a teacher after being sponged with passionate work in a school day and coming home zonked?
Know the feeling of a date, after being sponged with passionate discussion and coming home zonked?
Know the feeling of a computer analyst, after being sponged with passionate effort and coming home zonked?
Yonah was (Oy why is it in past tense)
All of this and more!
As a teacher, he would guide each boy or girl with the intricacies of dating, marriage and beyond.
As if on a date, he would navigate the discussion with parents, reaching into the inner resources of his mind, seeking to assist the parents sitting before him.
As a computer analyst, he knew no day nor night. Studying, researching, acquiring knowledge and data, always for the benefit of others.
Zonked? Hard to tell, for his day turned to twilight, and then to night, yet Yonah Avtzon was still at it! Still going strong, in his quest and zest to ease the singles plight, and connect a new Binyan Adei Ad.
No one can honestly fathom the thousands and thousands of hours that Yonah invested.
Walking on Kingston Avenue, Yonah would be accosted by eager fathers; a quick exchange and a heartfelt pleading for help.
Entering a wedding hall, Yonah would be surrounded.
Everyone awaiting the realization of their dreams, to walk towards their own children’s Chuppah. Wherever Yonah went, the long list of boys and girls went with him. They accompanied him, day and night. Sometimes people didn’t hear from him. They might have wondered if he is really working for them. It could be said with absolute certainty, that Yonah was always on it! Often, he would try to match the match, but it didn’t go! Yonah didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings unnecessarily, thus he would often keep his own hard work under wraps.
Is Shidduchim as challenging as Krias Yam Suf?! Yonah can be considered a true partner in solving this challenge and crisis.
Dear friends, Yonah is a household word. He has given all he possessed, for others.
Yonah was an unmatched pioneer in the spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus to all four corners of the globe. Sichos In English has untapped the reservoir of the holiest Maamorim, Sichos, and Chassidus and made it possible for the entire world to access.
Knowing the magnitude of Hei Teves as a victory of The Rebbe who is one with his Seforim, this can underscore the colossal difference and gain that Yonah has carved in the world. His Seforim personify the Maayonos Chutzah, the immediate catalyst to usher in Moshiach.
How do we express our gratitude to Yonah, the most giving husband, father, father in law and Zeidy. And brother in law. Shadchan and publisher.
Yonah, you have brought solace and comfort to so many. The homes you built are everlasting and eternal. Your kindness is a model of friendship and personal concern. Your listening ear raised hope, joy and strength.
Only The Eibershter and Moshiach can bring Yonah back.
May it be Miyad Mammosh.