June 5, 2015, Israel
My family name is Katz, but it is really not a name. It is simply an abbreviation for a longer Hebrew name, Cohen (Kohen) Tzedek, which means righteous one who serves.
The name dates back over 2,000 years.
THE OLDEST SURNAME IN
WORLD IS KATZ (INITIALS OF THE TWO WORDS KOHEN TSEDEK). EVERY KATZ IS A
PRIEST DESCENDING IN AN UNBROKEN LINE FROM AARON
THE BROTHER OF MOSES 1300 B.C.
(Ripley's Believe It or Not!)
Did you know that it is illegal in Israel to change your name to Katz? It is also illegal to change your name to Cohen. This is to prevent people from claiming to being cohanim when they are not.
The Cohen clan served the spiritual needs of the Jewish people in ancient times, and to a certain extent even in our own times. Our family tree goes back to Aharon the Cohen, brother of Moses.
The actions of my ancestor are always with me, his example. I have written of this before.
His two sons died an unnatural death. It was seen as divine punishment. Aharon, the high priest, was rebuked.
He has just lost two sons.
And what is recorded of his response? "And Aaron stood in silence"
And the Biblical commentator Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki writes, "And for this silence Aharon received a great reward, that God spoke to him directly".
Aharon's silence. Silence. What an incredible inspiration.
There are times in life when we are betrayed. We are betrayed by those whom we trust the most. Et Tu Brute? And you too Brutus? Asked the stunned Caesar in Rome, you too have betrayed me.
Some say that at this point Caesar lost the will to live.
There are things that hurt and yet the best response sometimes is silence.
Life has a way of dealing with things. Sometimes the worst thing we can do is respond, react. We must wait. The time may come later. But at times, no matter how difficult it is, we must remain silent.
As the Bible teaches there is a time for everything, a time for pain and a time for joy. There is a time to speak and a time to remain silent.
The wise man knows when it is best to remain silent.
Do not protest when you have been insulted. You have only aided their evil cause. They have shown who they are by their actions, now you can show who you are by your lack of response.
There is a time when no action is best, when no words are best.
A wise man knows the time for action, the time for words, and the time for silence.
When the hurt comes, the betrayal, the Et tu, Brute? it helps to think back to Aharon, the high priest, "And Ahraon was silent".