Refael Elisha Cohen z”l

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rafael-elisha-cohenIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of six-year-old son Refael Elisha Cohen z”l, son of Yaakov and Devorah Cohen of Houston, Texas.

As previously reported here on, thousands of Yidden had davened for Refael Elisha, who was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor in October 2012, after as petition to authorize the FDA to grant a compassionate use exemption to Refael Elisha for Antineoplaston therapy reached the 100,000 mark, thanks to efforts of Jews all over the globe.

On April 10, Mrs. Cohen stated that Refael Elisha was in a deep coma and was breathing only with medical intervention due to complications with his lungs. She asked her friends and followers online to continue davening for her son.

The FDA ultimately rejected the petition responding that “the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that drugs and other medical products sold in the United States are safe and effective. Drugs that haven’t yet been approved for marketing are called investigational new drugs…. In cases like Refael Elisha’s, the drug company that produces the treatment in question works together with the patient and, in some cases, with the patient’s doctor, to request approval from the FDA to treat the patient with the investigational drug. The same standards that prevent the White House from interfering with the outcome of an agency’s independent adjudications or research also apply in cases like Refael Elisha’s. The decision whether to allow compassionate use depends on a number of factors, including what the agency knows about the safety and effectiveness of the proposed treatment. The patient, his illness, his treating physician, and the drug company are all involved in that decision.”

While the FDA ultimately did not grant the exemption and the Ribono Shel Olam took Refael Elisha’s pure neshamah, the achdus generated by the effort will surely stand as a phenomenal zechus for the Cohen family.

Kevurah will take place in Eretz Yisroel.

May the Cohen neshamah have a nechamah. Umachah Hashem dima me’al kol ponim.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. So sad! His story brought so many Yidden together. What a z’chus for his hayliger, unblemished neshoma. May the parents find nichum from their unreal tzaar and may his passing be the kapora that Kllal Yisroel needed and may we see the Geula we were waiting for.

  2. BDE

    so sad & in the middle of yom tov…..
    was hoping we could return to Hashem with teshuva & prevent this tragedy from occuring.

    Refoel Elisha you really inspired klal yisroel. & now you can still inspire us to do teshuva, if we accept this wake-up message for teshuva from Hashem from this tragedy occuring

    May your neshama have an aliyah, klal yisroel will miss you dearly & mourn your loss

  3. please fix what i wrote before its the Kevura that will be ~2pm i do not thing there will be a Leviya as its Chol Hamoed and Erev Shabbos

  4. Baruch Dayan HaEmet, heartbreaking, may the family be consoled.

    With regards to the FDA I believe a compassionate use exemption had been granted, with the obvious condition a pediatric oncologist submits a treatment plan.


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