On 6 Tishrei, Boro Park lost one of its mysterious souls, Reb Mendel Weiss. Known for his many layers of coats packed with papers, even to the many good-hearted Yidden who cared for him, his essence remained hidden.
“He was a soft-spoken person,” said one Boro Park resident. “If you let yourself get to know him, he had a very sweet smile. No one knew what was behind him, but he seemed to be a happy person, despite his obviously difficult circumstances.”
One individual who was particularly involved in providing for his welfare said that he just “didn’t want anything in this world. He just wanted to be mezakeh others with chassadim.”
Reb Mendel lived with near-complete removal from olam hazeh. A family where he frequently ate related that he rarely had more than a glass of seltzer and a piece of cake.
This caregiver related that he was always very grateful to those who provided for his needs and had a wonderful sense of humor.
In Reb Mendel’s later years, he resided for some time in Palm Gardens on Avenue C, where his needs were cared for with the greatest warmth and attentivness.
A Hamodia staffer remembers her father telling her that Reb Mendel was in Nitra Yeshivah with him in Mt. Kisco in the 1950s. Her father always expressed admiration for Reb Mendel’s hasmadah in learning, and how readily he shared his knowledge with others.
Always living somewhat above the natural order of things, on a recent visit to the hospital doctors remarked that they could not understand how someone suffering from so many infections could be alive.
Reb Mendel’s avodah was wrapped in mystery. He was very punctilious about observing yahrzteiten of family members and tzaddikim, and knew how to learn. But for every inch that one could observe, there was much more that remained unknowable.
Yehi zichro baruch.