Yosef was born in 1917 in Rishon LeZion to Mazal and Ovadya, who made aliyah in 1888 from the city of Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey, believed to be the biblical Ur of the Chaldees which Abraham hailed from. The family made aliyah to Jerusalem, but moved to Rishon LeZion, where the father, along with other immigrants from Şanlıurfa, protected the settlement from Arab and Bedouin attacks. Soon he became one of the first workers in the winery, later working in construction in the settlement and throughout the country.
Yosef studied in the first Hebrew school, Habib. At age thirteen, he joined the Maccabi youth movement; in 1934, he joined Beitar, as Jabotinsky’s ideology would inspire him throughout his life. When the riots began in 1936, he joined the Hagana (Nationalist), which became the IZL, and he volunteered for guard duty. He also took a course in Morse code. In 1937, he was sent to a squad commanders’ course in Mishmar HaYarden, and he was appointed to oversee the armory in Rishon LeZion.
He was also a guide for those who had recently made aliyah. After the split, he joined Lehi, and until his arrest, he was very active, under the name Gidon. He was arrested in 1941 and detained in Mizra and Latrun. In 1944, he was sent to Eritrea with the other exiles, then to Sudan. He was released in 1946.
In 1948, he married Matilda, daughter of Rivka and Nissim Mizrahi, from Jerusalem. The couple had four children and numerous grandchildren. Immediately after their marriage, he enlisted in the IDF, serving in the Givati Brigade, Battalion 55. He took a demolitions course and spent his entire military service as a sapper. After his release, he worked in construction projects to establish settlements in the Negev and kibbutzim in the north. From 1960 on, he was a construction supervisor at the Volcani Center. He was a member of the national council of public-sector employees, and he was on the board of the water company in the settlement of Nahalat Yehuda.
He passed away on 2 Tevet 5761, 28.12.2000.