Yoni's Biography

Hi. My name is Yoni. My full name is Yonatan Yedidya. Yonatan is Hebrew for “Gift of God”; Yedidya means “friend of God”. Everyone just calls me “Yoni” (except my parents, if I’m in trouble…)

I'm the oldest kid in my family; I was born in 1995, 7 1/2 years before my baby sister, Rachaeli.

My favorite things include sports, chess, and playing with Rachaeli.

I can beat my father at chess, unless he plays me when I’m really tired. He likes to think that he’s the champion, but deep down, he knows I’m better.

People say that my best sport is soccer, although baseball is my favorite. This year, my team won the machine pitch little league championship; we went undefeated, with a record of 10-0!

I would have liked it if Rachaeli could have come to all my games and cheered for me. I know that she was cheering quietly inside.

Interview with Yoni

Q: My sister is special to me because:
A: I like looking at her smile. She’s really cute.

Q: Some things that Rachaeli can’t do are:
A: She can’t walk or talk or even sit up.

Q: Some things that Rachaeli can do are:
A: She can make me happy.

Q: One thing I sometimes do to try to make Rachaeli happy is:
A: I smile at her and sing to her. I also hug her a lot.

Q: One wish I have for Rachaeli is:
A: I wish she would be back to normal, if not better than normal.

Q: When I daven [pray] for Rachaeli, I ask Hashem [God] to:
A: Help her get better and make Moshiach [the Messiah] come before Rachaeli dies.

Q: If Rachaeli didn’t have Tay-Sachs, one thing I would do with her is:
A: Teach her ABC’s and stuff like that. I’d also teach her to play sports, especially soccer, because that’s easier for girls to learn.

Q: The hardest part, for me, about having a sister with Tay-Sachs is:
A: It makes me have less hope that I’m going to be with her for a long time.

Q: I will always love my sister because:
A: She’s my sister. She tries to make me feel better.

Q: If Rachaeli could talk, I bet she would say:
A: I love you, family.

Q: If Rachaeli could understand what I say, I would tell her:
A: You are the best sister in the world.

Q: One day, when I meet Rachaeli in heaven, I will:
A: Be happy to see her again; and I will be crying because it will be the first time that she understood me.

Yoni, age 8, (7/11/04)



Happiness for me would be if my sister would get better from Tay-Sachs. She would be able to talk, walk, and play. If Moshiach [the Messiah] would come, she would get better, live longer, and I would be happy. I know she is almost blind, but I still love smiling at her. I loved playing games with her when she was very young. I loved her beautiful laugh. I know she will die young. She?s my favorite thing in the world. On October 25th, 2004 she will turn two. I hope everyone prays for her. She is the sweetest thing in the world. I have her, two brothers, a mom and a dad. Her name is Rachaeli.

I love you, Rachaeli.

Yoni, age 9, (10/11/04)