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DEATH ROW BAR MITZVAH: Jewish prisoner on death row puts on tefillin and performs the sacred Jewish ceremony

Houston Chabad rabbi helps Jewish prisoner on death row put on tefillin and perform a Bar Mitzvah; the rabbi says, ‘When he saw that I brought him tefillin, he smiled and believe me, no one on death row smiles’

Itamar Eichner

Yadidya Marfi, who has been waiting for 15 years in a Livingston, Texas prison for the implementation of his death sentence.

In October 2000, Marfi shot and killed a 79 –year-old women, when he was high on cocaine. He then stole her car and used her credit card to buy cigarettes and alcohol. A year after later, at the age of 25, he was sentenced to death. His case has since been stuck in appeals courts and he still has not received a date for the implementation of his death sentence.


Marfi is being held in a cell for those on death row, which means his activity and movement are heavily limited. For example, he is forbidden from directly receiving visitors and can only meet them through a glass pane.


A few months ago, Rabbi David Goldstein, a Chabad Rabbi based in West Houston, and the Texas prisons’ rabbi, visited him. Rabbi Goldstein works with 60-120 Jewish prisoners in Texas prisons including some who merit the right to kosher food and weekly lessons.


Marfi told the rabbis about his difficult


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