Friday, May 13, 2016

An answer to my brother Rico Cortes: CAN ANY MAN CHANGE WHAT THE KING CALLS HOLY?

…Lessons from the Wilderness… [1] [2] [3] [4]
Volume Three


This epistle is in response to a post on social media by one of my teachers Rico Cortes – a man whom I have great respect for. Rico posted the following [note: format change is mine, but his words are as he wrote them]:

“…I do have a question?
When a king gives a decree, can a servant change it?
Ok, then if Yah says that he has made something Kadosh which means Holy and set aside for his service.
Does any man have the authority to disregard, discredit, change what YHVH has called KADOSH.
·         The land of Israel Elohim called Holy
·         The Sabbath Elohim called holy
·         The feast Elohim called Holy
·         The Sprit of Elohim is Holy
·         The Name of Elohim of Israel is Holy
·         The people of Israel Elohim called Holy
·         The temple Elohim called Holy
·         The tabernacle he called Holy
·         The Levites and the Family of Aaron are called Holy
·         The temple vessels He called holy
·         The sacrifices Elohim called Holy
·         The mountain Jerusalem He called holy
·         The priestly garments He called Holy
·         The oil of the temple Elohim called Holy
·         The question is?
Please, answer something that will can be backed by scriptures in context.
Please take time to answer because if your argument is against anything that Elohim called holy then in fact you will be calling the king a liar and That his oath is not valid.
I will stand with everything that my king calls holy.”[5]
I can’t promise how brief this answer will be – but I like the question. It is one that needs to be asked. So here goes…

There are many examples in Scripture where G-d declares something “Holy” – set apart for Him, or His Purpose, yet there is nowhere in Scripture that G-d gives man authority to change His laws or decrees. Yet some will say Yeshua did this when He gave to Kefa (Peter) the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 16:19:

“…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven…"

In fact, all Yeshua gave to Kefa was the right to set halaka, the way believers were to walk according to the proper interpretation of Torah that Yeshua set down. What he said was released (allowed or permitted), was what should be; what he bound (disallowed or forbid) was what should not be. Sid Roth puts it this way:

“…The Hebrew for binding is to disallow or forbid, and the Hebrew for loosing is to allow or permit. So the verse should read, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you forbid on earth shall have been forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth shall have been permitted in heaven.”  Yeshua was saying that binding and loosing or rather permitting and forbidding are directly connected to this issue of authority. Okay, so, what is being forbidden or permitted? It’s all about how to observe Torah…”[6]

Now the issue wasn’t to drastically alter how Torah was observed – it was who had authority to issue the change – and the only change was the way Yeshua observed Torah, as Father Yahveh had always intended it to be observed – as a matter of the heart, not of restrictive rules and man-made decrees. The obedience of Torah was to be done because one loves the Father and delights in His ways because they are right; anyone may argue with my assessment here – that is okay, but Scripture clearly says we are to walk as Messiah did. He broke not one mitzvoth – He obeyed unto death. We are to do no less.

The real question is one of authority (see Matthew 21:23).

A quick study of the word “authority” yields us with a variety of definitions.

One Hebrew word that authority can be traced to is מֶמְשָׁלָה memshâlâh.
This is defined in The Hebrew &Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament as:

“…מֶמְשָׁלָה" :II משׁל, Bauer-L. Heb. 490a, 614; MHeb. DSS: cs. מֶמְשֶׁלֶת (Sir 74 abs.), מֶמְשֶׁלְתְּךָ Leningrad Is 2221 Ps 14513 Bomberg מֶמְשַׁ׳, מֶמְשַׁלְתּוֹ, מֶמְשְׁלוֹת (Ps 1369 rd. מֶמְשֶׁלֶת), מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו (MSS מֶמְ׳, Sept., Pesh., Jerome sg.): —1. dominion over with sf. Gn 116, with בְּ Ps 1368f, abs. Is 2221 Mi 48 Ps 10322 14513 (of Yahweh) Da 115 Sir 74 436; —2. area of one’s dominion אֶרֶץ מֶ׳ 1K 919 Jr 341 5128 2C 86; > מֶ׳ 2K 2013/Is 392, pl. Ps 1142 (see above !); —3. military strength 2C 329 (= חֵיל כָּבֵד 2K 1817). …” [7]

In the Greek the word used in Matthew 21:23 is the word ἐξουσία, (transliteration:  exousia or ex-oo-see'-ah). This carries the (many) definition as:

“…ἐξουσία exousía; gen. exousías, fem. noun from éxesti (1832), it is permissible, allowed. Permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something (Acts 26:12). As éxesti denies the presence of a hindrance, it may be used either of the capability or the right to do a certain action. The words éxesti and exousía combine the two ideas of right and might. As far as right, authority, or capability is concerned, it involves ability, power, strength (dúnamis [1411]) as in Matt. 9:8; 28:18.
(I) The power of doing something, ability, faculty (Matt. 9:8; John 19:11; Acts 8:19; Rev. 13:12). Followed by the gen. art. and the pres. inf. (Luke 10:19); by the pres. inf. (Matt. 9:6, i.e., He is able to forgive; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24; John 5:27); by the aor. inf. (Luke 12:5; John 10:18; 19:10; Rev. 9:10). With the meaning of strength, force, efficiency (Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22; Rev. 9:3, 19), with the prep. en (1722), in, and the dat., en exousía as adjunct, powerful (Luke 4:32); with the prep. katá (2596), according to, kat˒ exousían being equivalent to en exousía, as adv., i.e., with intensive strength, with point and effect (Mark 1:27 [cf. Luke 4:36]).
(II) Power of doing or not doing, i.e., license, liberty, free choice (Acts 1:7; 5:4; Rom. 9:21; 1 Cor. 7:37, “if it stands in his own free will” [a.t.]; 8:9; 9:4–6, 12, 18; 2 Thess. 3:9; Rev. 22:14).
(III) Power as entrusted, i.e., commission, authority, right, full power (Matt. 8:9; 21:23, 24, 27; Mark 3:15; 11:28, 29, 33; Luke 20:2, 8; John 1:12; Acts 9:14; 26:10, 12; 2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10; Heb. 13:10; Rev. 13:5).
(IV) Power over persons and things, dominion, authority, rule.
(A) Particularly and generally (Matt. 28:18, “Unto me was given all authority in heaven and on earth” [a.t.]; Mark 13:34; Luke 7:8, i.e., subject to authority, rule; Jude 1:25; Rev. 13:2, 4; 17:12, 13; 18:1; Sept.: Ps. 136:8, 9; Dan. 3:33; 4:31). Before the gen. of person to whom the power belongs (Luke 20:20; 22:53, “of darkness”; Acts 26:18, “the power of Satan”; Col. 1:13; Rev. 12:10, “the authority of Christ” [a.t.]). Followed by the gen. of the object subjected to the power (Matt. 10:1; Mark 6:7, “power over unclean spirits”; John 17:2). Followed by epí (1901), upon, with the gen. (Rev. 2:26, “power over”; 11:6; 14:18; 20:6); by epí, with the acc. in the same sense (Luke 9:1; Rev. 6:8; 13:7; 16:9); by the inf. with hó̄ste (5620), so that, implied (Rev. 11:6 [cf. Matt. 10:1]); by epánō (1883), on, with the gen. (Luke 19:17).
(B) As a metonym used for: (1) What is subject to one’s rule, dominion, domain, jurisdiction (Luke 4:6; 23:7; Sept.: 2 Kgs. 20:13; Ps. 114:2). (2) In pl. or coll., those invested with power as the powers of rulers, magistrates (Luke 12:11; Rom. 13:1–3; Titus 3:1). For the celestial and infernal powers, princes, potentates, e.g., angels, archangels (Eph. 1:21; 3:10; Col. 1:16; 2:10; 1 Pet. 3:22); demons (Eph. 6:12; Col. 2:15). See aé̄r (109), air, in Eph. 2:2. Generally of the powerful adversaries of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:24 [cf. arché̄ {746}, principality]). (3) In 1 Cor. 11:10, where exousía is used as an emblem of power, i.e., a veil or covering (cf. 1 Cor. 11:13, 16) as an emblem of subjection to the power of a husband, a token of modest adherence to duties and usages established by law or custom lest spies or evil–minded persons should take advantage of any impropriety in the meetings of the Christians (cf. timé̄ [5092], honor).
Syn.: krátos (2904), dominion; dúnamis (1411), power. Exousía denotes the executive power while arché̄ (746), rule, represents the authority granting the power.
Deriv.: exousiázō (1850), to exercise authority.
Ant.: asthéneia (769), weakness…” [8]

I understand these are long, technical definitions, but I need to convey the full sense of what we call Biblical Authority. Only by first laying out this groundwork can we truly answer Rico’s question. As I said before, the real question has to do with who had or has the authority to alter G-d’s word? The answer may shock you..

No one. Not even Yeshua.

No man has that authority, and even Yeshua, no matter whether a person holds to the idea of echad=unity (i.e. just another way to say “Trinity”), or if one is a monotheist and holds to another view of the divinity of Yeshua, or whatever view one has (and don’t get me wrong – what you believe is between you and Yah) – even Yeshua Himself said the following – and one note here – if I only give a one verse reference, it does not mean I am “cherry picking”, for I expect you to be serious students of the word of G-d. For brevity’s sake, I am only including one or a few verses in each reference, but YOU should read these verses in context – five or ten above each reference and five or ten verses below them -  whatever it takes for you to fully grasp the context. It is only in context that any should study the Scriptures – for then the word of G-d cannot be twisted and manipulated into saying something it does not. So, in that understanding, Yeshua said:

Joh 8:25-29  So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus replied, "What I have told you from the beginning.  (26)  I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the Father who sent me is truthful, and the things I have heard from him I speak to the world."  (27)  (They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.)  (28)  Then Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me.  (29)  And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him."

Joh 8:42  Jesus replied, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me.

Joh 12:44-50  But Jesus shouted out, "The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me,  (45)  and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me.  (46)  I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness.  (47)  If anyone hears my words and does not obey them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  (48)  The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has a judge; the word I have spoken will judge him at the last day.  (49)  For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak.  (50)  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. Thus the things I say, I say just as the Father has told me."

Joh 14:8-11  Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."  (9)  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? (10)  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (11)  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

Joh 14:23-24  Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (24)  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

·         The point is this: Yeshua’s own words make it clear where the message He spoke and the authority to do the works He did came from: The Father.
·         He worked not His own agenda – it was YHVH’s agenda.
·         He spoke not words on His own accord – They came from Yah.
·         He taught not His interpretation of Torah: He taught what Elohim told Him to teach.
·         He had the authority to speak these words to do these deeds but He came not in His own authority – He came in the authority granted to Him by the Almighty Living Yah.

In answer to Rico’s question:
·         None have the authority to alter G-d’s word; none can set aside what Yahveh has called “holy” or “set-apart”.
·         The covenants of Yah are everlasting.
·         The feasts of Yah are forever more.
·         The nation of Israel was and is and will remain the apple of His eye.
·        The Sabbath is Forever.
       The Torah shall not depart.

·         We of the nations that bow down now will be or are grafted into the family of Israel, and can come alongside our brethren the Jews, not to replace, but added into the book of life, all praise and glory be to Yah the Father for sending all His Son!

·         Yeshua will return and reign until ALL His enemies are put under His feet and then, only then, does the Son return control back to His Father, so Yah can be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:22-28).

I hope this answers your question Rico.

May Yah richly bless you all, His beloved, Amein

[1] Authors note: Use of information from Jewish-themed websites should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed. The inverse is also true – by using these sites in no way confirms or denies that this author holds to all things found on these sites – but brethren, we all can learn from one another, Jew and Gentile; may it be so in shalom and love and respect.
[2]  Author’s note:  Throughout this study I’ll be using the Net® Bible and  the Net® Notes: within the notes you’ll see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NetBible© for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NetBible©)  used in translating the New Testament. Please go to and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.
[3] Author’s Note: In these studies I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of G-d. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief ) I insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions or scholarship; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of G-d’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles; that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible (but not exclusively); it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones…” I do though want to present the NET® notes because there is a wealth of information and research contained within them that I hope you find helpful.
[4] One may wonder why I omit the “o” when I write the title “G-d”. While there are many who say that to leave out the “o” is a sign of being under the influence of the Rabbis who forbid saying the name of Yahveh, I say, one must come to a conclusion on their own, and do as their heart convicts them (within the bounds of G-d’s word of course). I believe in the power of the name of the Most High – the name of Yahveh – and in uttering it in awe and reverence, yet find no contradiction in my soul for the hyphenated title “G-d”. I have written it both ways – stopped doing it, and now I have returned to the practice – as I said, one must follow the conviction of their heart. I do not disrespect anyone else’s opinion on this matter, and regardless if you think it wrong or right, I ask for the same respect. Let each be fully persuaded in their own mind and heart – and let G-d sort it out with each believer. For now, this is right for me, till the Father corrects - or confirms; I am after all, a work in progress. Shalom. 
[5] From a post in Facebook® by Rico Cortes; see his website at
DSS Dead Sea Scrolls; → Dam.; DJD; Kuhn Konkordanz
Sept. Septuagint; → Swete Septuagint, Göttingen Edition 1936ff; Rahlfs Sept.; Brooke-M. OT in Greek; SeptA → BHS Prolegomena p. iv; Würthwein Text 75f (fourth ed.); SeptRa → Rahlfs Septuaginta
Pesh. Peshiṭta; → Würthwein Text 64ff (fourth ed. 86ff)
Jerome → Siegfried ZAW 4:34ff; Sperber Translit.; Barr JSS 12; Kahle Geniza 166
[7]Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M., & Stamm, J. J. (1999, c1994-1996). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament. Volumes 1-4 combined in one electronic edition. (electronic ed.) (596). Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.
[8]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1849). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Un-Coloring Race: A Little Reflection:

Un-Coloring Race: A Little Reflection:

I am linking this post to that of a good friend and brother in Yeshua and I hope, no pray that you'll visit his site . Shalom to you all, and just as everything - his thoughts are his, mine are mine - and we both hope that Yeshua leads us in the directions we should go, and as speaking for myself of course, I am teachable and correctable, just as I believe my brother Jeff is, we are all in a search for Messiah, amein? 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Yom HaShoah:

(Yom HaShoah)
Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016 began in the evening of
Wednesday, May 4
and ended in the evening of
Thursday, May 5

Today, I’ll let another’s words speak, for today I have no words that could ever have the impact that his do. It is appropriate – it is right to use these words, and I make this disclaimer: I pray no one will find fault in my sharing of these words, I mean no harm or wish to break any rules or laws, but I do not want anyone to miss these powerful words on Yom HaShoah. Many thanks to; to Benjamin Brafman the author of these words, written around the time of the Fogel family’s murder in Itamar, Israel on March 11, 2011. They were not just one more family destroyed – they were the victims of a globalization of antisemitism, born at the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, and perpetuated by dark forces and spiritual wickedness in high places – AND – unfortunately, practiced and embraced by those that call themselves civilized and hide behind a mask of hatred, culture, religion and education, in both Western societies and those that embrace the predominant faith of the Middle East. Since time immemorial, in every era, in all geographical and political arenas, the Jews have suffered. Their common enemies?  Today it's Academia (students as well as “educators”), Islam, “Christian” backed BDS movements, left wingers, right wingers, indifference, apathy, ignorance; the list is so long of the haters of the people and nation of Israel that I don’t have the time, room or frankly, the stomach to go into it.
So, remember their faces:

The Fogels, father Ehud (Udi) Fogel, the mother Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children—Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant.
(The infant was decapitated.)

And their names.

But let us not forget Yechiel Michoel Friedman either.
Here is his story.
Jewish lives matter.
May HaShem have mercy on all of those lost – but not forgotten, and all those in the cross-hairs of this "civilized" world of 2016, Amein.
Murdered at Auschwitz 
by Benjamin Brafman 

My name is Yechiel Michoel Friedman. I was murdered in Auschwitz and don't you ever forget me.

I did not survive – I was murdered at Auschwitz.

My name is Yechiel Michoel Friedman. I was "murdered" at Auschwitz. I did not die at Auschwitz. I was "murdered" at Auschwitz.
None of you know me. None of the people in this room have ever met me; not even my own grandson, Ben Brafman, who many of you know, has ever met me. I have authorized my grandson to speak for me, because although I was murdered, I was not silenced. You must be reminded of my life and of my murder – not my death – my murder. The murder of my family – of your family – of so many families...

This is my story – a true story. A sad, horrific story.

My story, like so many of your stories, has a wonderful beginning, a very terrible middle and a tragic, horrible end that Baruch Hashem was not really the end, because although I and part of my family were brutalized and murdered, a part of my family miraculously survived – and because some did survive, my grandson is here to speak for me, to tell you "my" story, his grandfather's story, my life story and my death story. The story of a life that was brutally taken from me, from my beautiful wife, Malka, my beautiful, sweet daughter, Sima, her young, handsome husband, Yaakov and their baby, my granddaughter, my "first" granddaughter, Chaya Sarah, my little Chaya Sarah, who at two years old was ripped screaming from her mother's arms and thrown into an oven at Auschwitz as if she did not matter.

I speak to tell you that my little Chayala did matter, we all mattered.

Chaya Sarah was the only grandchild I ever knew and I loved her as only a grandfather can love a grandchild and Nazi killers murdered her, my Chayala and 1.5 million other Jewish children. They took our nachas – our life and our joy and our hope. They took our babies and turned them into ashes.

Today, I speak to you as a neshama, as a soul from heaven, where I and millions of my brothers and sisters sit in a special place of honor reserved for us, for those you call Kedoshim – holy ones – whose lives were taken only because we were Jews, brutally taken less than 70 years ago, when a whole country became dominated by savages, while a civilized world stood by and through its silence, said that it was "okay to smash the head of a two year old child and then, while she was still alive, throw her screaming in terror into a burning oven, that it was okay to gas and cremate – to murder her parents and grandparents." A civilized, cultured nation did this and a civilized world watched it happening and did nothing to stop our slaughter.

The world heard our screams but did not care, the world smelled our burning flesh but turned away – the world heard my Chayala screaming for her mother and did nothing, because Chayala was a Jewish child and at that time – the systematic murder of Jewish children – undertaken in an efficient, organized manner by monsters in government-issued uniforms -was okay. Indeed, it was encouraged, applauded. The murderers were honored with medals, applauded as heroes for killing our children – for killing my grandchild.

Smoke and Gas

How did this happen to us? When did our world turn so bitter and dark?

I remember our life before Auschwitz, a good life, a quiet, pious life, centered around my family, my wife, Malka, our daughters, Sima, Ruchele, Hencha, Hinda, my sweet little boy, Meir, Sima's husband, Yaakov, and their baby, my zeis little Chayala.

We lived in a small town in Czechoslovakia, Kiviash, right near the Hungarian border. I was a learned man, a Hebrew teacher. Our family was a good family. We were poor, but respected. We were honest, kind, sweet people who lived among other respected, soft-spoken, wonderful families. We had no enemies.

I never even raised my voice in anger, never, until that day in Auschwitz, when they murdered my grandchild, then the world heard me, but did not listen, when they tried so hard to destroy my family. I screamed so loud, I cried so hard and long, but the murder continued. The smoke and gas roared and now I am still angry. Now, I raise my voice again, not to complain, but so that you will remember – so that you can wake up, because what happened to my family can happen again, it is happening again!

Today, less than 70 years later, monsters are again threatening and murdering Jewish families, murdering our beautiful children – just last month in Israel, in Itamar, the Fogel family was massacred and again, beautiful, little, innocent children were butchered because they were Jews.
Udi and Ruth Fogel murdered because they were Jews! Their children, Yoav, age 11, Elad, age 4 and Hadas, age 3 months – slaughtered!! Their throats slit while they slept in their own beds.

So I need to tell you about my own murder. I need to relive for you my horror, my terrible loss, so that you will understand and remember, so that you will feel the Shoah – what the world refers to as the Holocaust. It needs to be real for those of you who were not there. It is more than a word – Shoah. You must know the terror, not only to make you sad and angry, but to make you vigilant.

If I upset you tonight, good! If my frankness and the terrifying description of brutal murder gives you nightmares tonight – good. I want you to be afraid and sad and angry and bitter and aware – but I also want you to be proud, because the end of my own story, although sad, was not the end.

Be comforted in the knowledge that "they did not win." The Nazi murderers killed me and millions of Jews like me, but they did not win. They did not murder my whole family, or your whole family. The murderers and their army of monsters did not murder the Jewish people, they did not end Klal Yisrael – they made us stronger.

Alive Today

Jews are alive today. Israel is strong today, my family, your families, are here today, and we must keep reminding the world about our parents, grandparents, great grandparents and the children, who were gassed and cremated.

My family is alive today to help you understand the quality of hate that can allow a country to burn and gas and bludgeon newborns, infants and toddlers; to machine gun them and throw them into mass graves or onto trucks and then while still alive, toss them into large ovens, or used while conscious and awake – for vicious, cruel medical experiments.

So many children, small Kinderlach screaming for their Mommy and Tattie, for Bobbie and Zayde – can you hear them? Their screaming is so loud – I can still hear my Chayala, 70 years later. Can you hear them? Can you hear your family members? The families you never got to meet or know. Can you hear their screams?
When you are in bed waiting to fall asleep, listen hard. If you try, you will hear them in your head and in your heart.

Listen and you will also hear 12-year-old Tamar Fogel who, returning to her home in Itamar, after an Oneg Shabbat Friday night, only a few weeks ago, found her parents murdered, her three month old baby sister, Hadas, with her throat slit. Can you hear Tamar screaming? All of us, all the way up here in Heaven heard her screams; you should be able to hear her just across the ocean, her screams for her family, for every Jew whose child – whose life has been viciously taken just because they were Jewish.

The difficulty in speaking about such horror and about so much grief is that it is so hard. It is almost impossible for the mind to process so much terrible information, it is almost impossible to make someone understand something so bad, it is hard to even imagine so much murder and torture and starvation, but you must.
I will help you. I am going to be graphic and brutal, because it is the only way to make you get it, for you to really understand what it means when we say Holocaust – or Shoah – or talk about 6 million kedoshim.

I am standing in the gas chamber naked with hundreds of innocent Jews. My wife, Malka, whose terrified eyes were already dead, is next door holding our daughter, Sima. Sima's husband, Yaakov, is with me. We have already watched our Chayala cremated. We are already dead – the gas will just kill us again.
We know we are not in a shower. We know we are in a gas chamber. We know we are going to die and we all know that we did nothing wrong and we also know that a civilized world did this to us, that a civilized world abandoned us.

We are afraid to die, of the brutal, choking, burning death that is upon us, but we are so much more afraid that nobody will ever know that we lived, that nobody will ever know that we were a good family; that we had beautiful, good children and that we had a beautiful grandchild. I was so afraid that nobody would ever know; that nobody in my family or in anyone else's family would survive; that the "final solution" was really going to be final. Let me tell you something....

You think you know about prayer – you think you know about faith because 
you are religious or because you pray every day?

Let me tell you about real prayer, about real belief – in my gas chamber, as gas filled our lungs, as flames burned off our skin, we screamed "Ani Maamin,” we believe in you Hashem.

With our dying breath we screamed, "Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokenu Hashem Echad" – my last words screamed through gas filled lungs, as I died, so afraid that my entire family had been, or soon would be, murdered.

What wrenching sadness, what anger rose in my heart and raged through my mind – I pleaded to Hashem, not to be spared, but for nekama, for revenge! How, when, who would ever make this right, or get even for us, who would be alive to say Kaddish for us – to light a candle on our Yahrzeit – no graves, no headstones – no one alive to mourn our death – to even know of our life.

Well, I am not here tonight in person. Yechiel Michoel Friedman was murdered at Auschwitz, but we were not all murdered that day, or the next day and some of my children, some of your children did survive and today, our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren and now even our great-great-grandchildren are alive. We live in the United States and all over the world as proud Jews, and we have the Land of Israel – do you hear that, Nazi murderers? We have Israel, a nation built by survivors. We have a Jewish army and a Jewish state. Our people are strong. We have powerful, eloquent voices demanding to be heard.

My daughters, Hencha and Hinda, who were tortured for years, did not die and my daughter, Ruchele, who at age 15 escaped to America, married Shlomo Brafman, who also escaped – they did not die and their children and my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are growing up as Shomer Shabbos Jews and tonight, my grandson is speaking for me in a shul with 1,000 proud, strong Jews who came to remember all of us tonight.
So I do not have my life, but I have my revenge. In fact, my little boy, Meir, who they tried so hard to murder, he lived too. At age 16, he weighed 45 lbs. when found alive in a pile of corpses at Auschwitz.

When liberated, he went to Israel, to Israel, where for 50 years he was a soldier in Tzahal – Israel's army. A Jewish hero, he fought for 50 years in Israel's army. My son, my Kaddish, he did not die in Auschwitz either. How proud I was to watch as he put on the uniform of an Israeli soldier to fight for our country, a Jewish community.
They Will Not Win

I am very sad and very angry and bitter that I did not get to enjoy the world of nachas that was mine, a world of nachas and pride and Yddishkeit that I had a right to live through and enjoy.

The Nazis hurt me beyond words, but they did not win.

Ladies and gentlemen, they only win if you forget – or now, if you allow the world to deny. They only win if we do not cry real tears when we hear about the slaughter of the Fogel family in Itamar.

They only win if you cannot hear my Chayala screaming or feel the terror of Tamar Fogel, or her grandparents who must now face a quality of grief so savage that it is hard for you to grasp.

Trust me – I know about the murder of a child and a grandchild and how that impacts on everything else. How everything else is forever shrouded in death and overwhelming sadness. The Fogel family will never recover but they cannot be forgotten.

Here we are in a beautiful shul, with so many Jews. Good Jews. Strong, proud people who have not forgotten us, me, my family, your families – the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, the children, the grandchildren – the babies who were murdered and gassed and buried alive.

It is okay to cry for what we lost, for what was taken from you, for the lives lost, 
the nachas of family we were deprived of.

Cry for us. We cry for you too, for what you lost, for the family you never met, for the millions of good, sweet Jews who did not live – for the students who never finished their studies, for the scientists and artists and musicians and teachers and Rebbes who never got the chance to excel, to perform, to teach, to cure, to live.

It's okay to cry for the children who never got to play, or sing, or laugh, who were put to death with such violence, with so much hatred that I cannot describe it in words as for certain levels of grief, there are no words. It is so bad that it cannot even be imagined by any decent human being, impossible to process rationally.
But you must, because today, people are already questioning whether the Holocaust really happened. World leaders and scholars are already denying the Holocaust; they are challenging even the integrity of a handful of survivors, the eyewitnesses who are still alive, those who saw the horror with their own eyes. Even these heroic survivors are being doubted and am so afraid that in coming years, vicious, anti-Semitic revisionists will tamper with history and the truth and we cannot – you cannot allow that to happen ever – never...

I had a granddaughter, a charming, beautiful little baby girl named Chaya Sarah and she was murdered in front of my eyes and although her neshama, her soul, is in heaven with me, her memory must be emblazoned in your hearts forever.

If our memory is really to be for a blessing, for our neshamos to really have the aliyah you ask for, an aliyah we have earned and paid so dearly for, then you must remember.

You must make certain that your children and their children understand what happened to their family, to your family, to all of our families, or it will happen again.

You think it cannot happen again? Why? Because you have good lives – you live in civilized times? We had a good life – we lived in civilized times. We were happy and complacent, but we were not vigilant and we walked right into a Holocaust.

Our neighbors, an entire nation of ordinary men and women of intelligence and breeding and culture turned into monstrous, murderous animals who withdrew from humanity and imposed a level of brutality on us that cannot now be described and could not then, ever have been predicted – but that is exactly what happened.
It was even worse than the worst true story that any survivor can report, because the brain is not capable of capturing so much grief without exploding, so even those who survived, who saw it all, cannot fully capture the full horrific ordeal, the vicious detail.

Only a victim like me, only someone who did not survive, can tell you the whole, bad, ugly, demented, 
terrible truth about our murder, of 6 million murders.

That, my friends, is why I chose to speak to you through my grandson from my seat in heaven and although Hashem does not permit me to tell you "why" these terrible things happened, I am commanded to discuss "what" happened.

To tell you "what" happened with clarity and force, so that hopefully some people in this room will never doubt the Shoah and you will take it upon yourself to confront anyone who dares to deny it and make them hear my story – your story, the sad but true stories of our families, whom we too often refer to as the "6 Million," but rarely if ever refer use their names.

We have names. Our lives were taken, but they cannot take our names.

My name is Yechiel Mechoel Friedman. I was murdered at Auschwitz with my wife, Malka and my daughter, Sima, her husband, Yaakov Weiss and my granddaughter, Chaya Sarah.

Can you see them? I see them and I also see Tamar Fogel and the bodies of her family being carried through Itamar for burial; not 70 years ago – last month. People with names and lives taken in the dark – only because they were Jews.

My name is Yechiel Michoel Friedman. I was murdered in Auschwitz. Don't you ever forget me.

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