Grief and pain struck the community of Monsey late Wednesday night when a car-pedestrian accident claimed the life of Mordechai Tawil, z”l, 17, a talmid at Yeshivat Tiferet Torah in the town’s Wesley Hills neighborhood. A second bachur, David (David Yosef ben Leah) Maldanado was seriously injured as well. His condition is stable but very serious.
Mordechai, whose family lives in Argentina, had just returned to Monsey to begin what would have been his second year in Tiferet Torah. He was remembered as a stellar bachur, a picture of hasmadah, dikduk b’mitzvos, and chessed.
“He leaves a very big vacuum in all areas,” said Rabbi Chaim Schabes, a Maggid Shiur at Tiferet Torah and Mara d’Asra of Cong. Knesses Yisroel. “He was an unbelievable bachur. He was the top in learning and really cared about everyone.”
Shortly before midnight, three bachurim were standing near the yeshivah when two passing cars sideswiped each other, with one hitting two of the boys. David Maldanado, a Monsey native, was rushed to Westchester Trauma Center, where he remains. Mordechai was brought to the Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was niftar.
In Tiferet Torah, a small yeshivah that caters to Sephardic bachurim, Mordechai was a role model to his fellow talmidim. He would rise early and make sure the other bachurim were awake in time for Shacharis each morning. He regularly led the tzibbur in Pesukei d’Zimrah and often served as baal korei.
Mordechai was exceptionally scrupulous in Torah and mitzvos, a trait that was seen in many areas of his avodas Hashem. With a strong knowledge of dikduk, his Krias HaTorah was remarkably precise. Not only did he dedicate many hours to learning; he also followed a rigorous program of chazarah, regularly reviewing many areas of his studies. A model of chessed as well, Mordechai constantly looked for opportunities to help others.
“He was everyone’s best friend, everyone looked up to him,” said Rabbi Binyomin Ehrman, also a Maggid Shiur at Tiferet Torah. “He was a very special boy and he’s been plucked from us very young.”
Mordechai had spent most of his short life as an orphan,as his father,Reb Ezrah Tawil z”l passed away 14 years ago on Yom Kippur, after he was sick for around an year .
The levayah was held Thursday afternoon at Tiferet Torah. Maspidim including Rabbi Nissan Hakakian, Rosh Yeshivat Tiferet Torah, Rabbi Schabes, and several family members. One relative spoke of Mordechai’s sense of consistency in all areas of his life, displaying his middos tovos equally in yeshivah and at home.
The aron was flown to Argentina where an additional levayah and kevurah are planned to take place on Friday.
A strikingly similar tragedy struck Monsey only two weeks ago, when Shaindel Mashinsky, a”h, 18, who was also orphaned at a young age and served as a role model to her peers, was niftar after being struck by a vehicle.
Rabbi Ehrman reflected on the parallels of the two heartbreaking events. “Both were yesomim and very special people. I don’t know what it is, but there is definitely something that Hashem wants from us.”
Updated Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 10:52 pm Father petiruh