Jan 9, 2019
R' Yonah, A Special Shadchan

Itty Chazan writes about Rabbi Yonah Avtzon, a renowned Shadchan that "gave his heart and soul," who passed away suddenly today.

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: ďThere 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.Ē

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 childrenís Chuppah. Wherever Yonah went, the long list of boys and girls went with him. They accompanied him, day and night. Sometimes people didnít 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 didnít go! Yonah didnít want to hurt peopleís 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.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
A relative
Thank you for sharing.
Really beautiful!
(1/9/2019 6:34:26 PM)
R' Yonah
We miss you Yeineh!
(1/9/2019 6:35:52 PM)
Thank you
For putting into words, many of my own thoughts and feelings. We are all hurting.
(1/9/2019 7:02:32 PM)
L'Iluy Lishmoso
What greater tribute and iluy nishmoso - if we, his friends & relatives, continue his legacy by making a minyan of shidduchim! Let us dedicate ourselves to the ultimate expression of Ahavas Yisroel, by partnering with HKBH and helping 10 boys and 10 girls find their basherts. This was the holy work that Yonah dedicated himself to and it must continue in his zchus for his neshoma. Of course it's nice when a Sefer Torah is written - but usually there is no pressing need for its use. But building new chassidishe homes and making homes in which the shechina dwells within, and enabling the creation of future doros - that is G-dly work, the work of Yona, that we must do in his tribute. I wish there would be a shidduch type of Go Fund Me that we can pledge and commit with a goalto make approx one shidduch a month during the first year! What a nachas ruach and aliyas neshama and tremendous zchus v'zecher! We CAN do it. We MUST do it.
(1/9/2019 7:09:23 PM)
BSĒD Well said what comes to mind when I picture/think of him is that smile
(1/9/2019 7:41:34 PM)
Beautifully written Itty.
May your brother in law be a true maylitz yosher & DEMAND from Hashem Moshiach NOW!!!!!
(1/9/2019 8:47:32 PM)
Blown away
From what I've read, this man was a true Shliach of the Rebbe...building one deira at a time, for the Scheina to dwell. I would have liked to have met him, but his reputation is an example of what is possible, in this world.
(1/9/2019 9:39:36 PM)
His warm heart and smile was open for all. There was always room in the heart and house for anyone and everyone -even for those that others would distance. B D E Yonah when they made you they threw away the mold- You were one of a kind
(1/9/2019 9:51:00 PM)
Itty what you wrote about Yonah was well written. He will be sorely missed.
(1/9/2019 9:53:13 PM)
big Z Schapiro
We want Moshaich now
(1/9/2019 9:58:50 PM)
Crown Heights resident
Reb yonah A"H once said that if every family in Crown Heights makes one shiduch a year the whole crisis story will be over and it's so true I think that would be a nice thing to implement!
(1/9/2019 10:28:07 PM)
Dear Yonah
You helped me with Shidduchim while I was in Crown Heights. I don't know if I ever thanked you properly, but I would like to do so now.

I did eventually get married. Was it the best most suitable candidate for me? Probably not. But we are putting in our best efforts to make it work, and as best as it could it, and BH with a lot of siyata dishmaya, patience, work and therapy, it is getting better all the time.

I remember, in one email you told me directly "You are asking for the sun, the moon, and everything in between" I.e. way too much and not realistic. So, for a while I had been meaning to write you and email with a message to tell the young people who come to see you: "Be realistic. No body is perfect. Every family has something interesting in it, but don't let that not let you meet the potential person who could be right for you. Don't wait till you are at a stage at life when you are desperate, and therefore need to compromise a larger amount, rather when you're still young, learn to compromise a little, and you'll get a better suitable option for yourself. "

Unfortunately, I never sent Yonah this email, but I am this expressing here. To those in their 20's don't be too picky, you may only get second best at the end if you wait too long. To those in their 30's, if you're serious about marriage, starting a family, and getting out of being stuck, be accepting and Hashem will help you get married, and with right mind set it will work. Don't feel bad, as if you get to your 40's it's a lot harder, and Hashem doesn't want you to be lonely and single forever. But you have to make it happen, you have to make it work. If people (parents too) would drop the perfectionism, then many more Shidduchim would happen, and the crises would be less. L'chaim!
(1/10/2019 12:09:38 AM)
He was Real
Every Shadchan Should learn from Him
Honestly he was number one all of Chabad will miss him
there is nobody like him

(1/10/2019 12:23:27 AM)
Oived Hashem
Every single solitary one of us benefitted from him.
Be it directly or indirectly,be it spiritually or materially. Either through his work in Shidduchim, his Sichos, Maamarim, and all his Chassidus in English, and all his other Mitzvos that I donít even know about,with his charming smile, captivating and easy going mannerism, his unwavering dedication,devotion, and persistence, in whatever it was that he was involved with, at any given moment. Living on the other side of the world,I am devastated and reeling from this tremendous loss, of a GIANT of a man, and an Emesse, humble Chossid of THE REBBE. He was mamesh an Ish Elokim. I donít doubt for a split second, that he will continue to do,what he does best, help bring about the HISGALUS OF THE REBBE MELECH HAMOSHIACH TEIKEF UMIYAD MAMASH. AMEIN KEIN YEHI RATZON KEHEREF AIYIN.
(1/10/2019 2:36:24 AM)
i agree
with #4 and #11 !!!! let's do it! make an effort to making shidduchim!!!
(1/10/2019 3:33:17 AM)
Your message is not too late.

Others can take heed. Those struggling in their marriage can try and improve Sholom Bayis in merit of Yona.

...Dear yona...
I did eventually get married. Was it the best most suitable candidate for me? Probably not. But we are putting in our best efforts to make it work, and as best as it could it, and BH with a lot of siyata dishmaya, patience, work and therapy, it is getting better all the time.†
(1/10/2019 5:56:41 AM)
Beautifully written
Thank you Itty for your warm words about Yonah. He will be sorely missed by so so many people.
(1/10/2019 7:30:45 AM)
Thank you for speaking for many of us
Well Said
(1/10/2019 8:02:25 AM)
Others must step up
And continue his holy work!
(1/10/2019 8:31:58 AM)
I did not know him personally I crossing paths with him from time to time and saying hello his smile and His way he conducted himself just showed he was a genuine beautiful person.May God show compassion to the family
(1/10/2019 10:36:06 AM)
#4 Good idea
I agree! From machshova to dibbur it MUST come to maaseh. Just as people commit to learning mishnayos, we should commit IN WRITING to make (work on making) a shidduch a month!!
(1/10/2019 7:04:28 PM)
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