Yisroel Simcha Possick ben Aharon Chaim, the son of Ahron Possick, Esther Sara Possick, brother of Menachem and predeceased by his sister, Tema Miriam a”h, epitomized a neshama afflicted with more nisyonos than Iyov. Despite this, he didn’t let himself be defined by his disease. He tried to overcome all the pain and suffering with which Hashem inflicted him through strengthening his emunah and bitachon.
Yisrael Simcha’s challenges in life were beyond the understanding of the medical and nonmedical worlds. Pain was a constant companion yet he never requested sympathy nor did he wallow in self-pity. A human being who encouraged others to strive for their potential, Yisroel Simcha gave people chizuk. His short 26 years inspired many, including his friends, rabbonim, those at Chai Lifeline, and his team of medical professionals. We remain awed by the depth of his personality, his astute intellect, affable nature, and sharp, caustic wit.
As a physician, I give testimony to the debilitating, painful and overwhelming onslaught to his physical being. However, Yisrael Simcha never complained. Never hostile nor negative, he was only appreciative. Until his illness became too draining and complicated, Yisroel Simcha drove his own car and enjoyed an independent life surrounded by a cadre close friends. The Possick Shabbos table was consistently filled with young people coming to enjoy Yisroel’s Simcha humor and thoughts on world events. Even though his leg was amputated, he looked forward to rehabilitation and being fitted with a prosthesis so he could resume driving his car.
His mother’s dedication to tending to his needs, bandaging him, and taking care of his debilitating skin condition 24/7 is beyond words. Making herself aware of new developments that might help Yisrael Simcha, she tenaciously pursued drug, technology and insurance companies to ensure that treatments would be made available to him.
Menachem devoted himself to Yisrael Simcha’s wellbeing of his brother. An attorney, Menachem missed many days of work to be present with his beloved brother over the last year during which he endured multiple hospitalizations. They were not only brothers: They were best friends and confidants.
The last three months were unimaginably grueling for Yisrael Simcha and his loved ones. Confined to an ICU, there were multiple interventions which caused more pain than before. Yet Yisrael Simcha soldiered on, determined to have an independent life and give to humanity. His positive demeanor persisted, and he never ceased expressing bitachon and emunah. He remained steadfast in his total acceptance of Hashem’s world and never remarked even once that life is unfair. Yisrael Simcha was a neshama that is rare: Few people are capable of understanding the purity of his soul. We can only wonder, as Rabbi Feiner said at his levaya, when such aneshama is taken from this world, is it to prevent untold tragedies from unfolding?
The Far Rockaway-Five Towns community has suffered a tremendous loss by thepetira of Yisroel Simcha: For Klal Yisroel at large, it’s even more so. It has been a privilege and pleasure to have known Yisrael Simcha, to have been involved in his medical care, and to see the love and dedication of a family for a son and brother.
Yehi zichro baruch.