There are no words evil enough, no images graphic enough, no imagination sick enough, to possibly depict what our grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, infants and unborn children, endured at the claws of their murderers.

Six million Jews were murdered for one reason and one reason only. Because they were Jews. To our enemies, it didn't matter if the Jew cared that he or she was Jewish. It didn't matter if the person was the most assimilated or the most religious. A Jew was a Jew was a Jew.

Our enemies were able to rip off beards, torch skin, brand arms, pull teeth, and gas bodies. But they were not able to penetrate minds, hearts, souls and spirits. The Jewish neshamah was never diminished and only strengthened.

Remarkably, perhaps miraculously, there were Jews who clung to the Torah—the moral and legal code that has instructed our lives since Sinai—throughout their ordeal. In the ghettos, in the concentration camps, in the midst of the death marches, they continued to refer to the Torah for guidance, posing questions to their rabbis and spiritual leaders. From practical to moral to philosophical, the questions demonstrate the faith these martyrs had in their Creator, and the length they went to fulfill His will.

Most of the questions and responses were never recorded, and of what was, virtually all was lost in the rubble and the ashes. Fortunately, a few precious volumes survived, testament to what our people endured.

[One such work is Rabbi Ephraim Oshry's Responsa from the Holocaust. Click here to read excerpts from this amazing document.]

These Jews cared to know what they should do or not do, according to the Torah. When the world made no sense, they still sought to ensure that their actions, their words and their thoughts were pure and holy. When the world ignored G‑d and His commandments, they determined that they would not.

Reading these questions and answers, one is struck by the sensitivity, the caring and the thoughtfulness of the responses. But perhaps even more remarkable than the answers themselves is the very fact that the questions were ever asked, and the way in which these precious souls seem to see nothing "heroic" in the fact that they're asking them, regarding themselves simply as Jews living as Jews.

A woman in the ghetto who had just given birth wanted to know if she could circumcise her newborn baby boy before the eighth day, since she feared he would not live even a week. This loving mother wanted to ensure that at least he die a circumcised Jew.

People asked whether or not they should recite blessings over food when the food was not kosher, or if they could recite the morning prayers before the sun came up since it was the only time they wouldn't be noticed.

A very sick man who was told that he was too weak to fast Yom Kippur, and thus forbidden to do so according to Torah law, begged to know if he could nonetheless refrain from eating. Though he had been completely non-observant his entire life, he wanted to die knowing he had fasted for his final Yom Kippur.

A father needed to know if he was permitted to save his only son, slated for certain death, through bribery, when he knew that if his child was saved, another innocent child would be taken in his place.

A mother asked if she could painlessly kill her own baby, since the next day they were coming to take all the children, and would either throw her three-month-old daughter off a rooftop or directly into the fire.

There were Jews who asked for the most proper wording, and then carefully practiced reciting and memorizing the blessing which is recited as one is being murdered al kiddush hashem, sanctifying G‑d's name.

These questions were not answered on the basis of personal opinion or feeling. These Jews wanted to know what Torah law had to say on these matters, and it was the rabbis' duty to find the answers. This was not the first time these questions had been asked or answered. We are a people who have known much suffering and persecution. And we are a people who have always wanted to do what was right, what was holy, regardless of our circumstances.

With each year that passes, we must remember the horror, and how our people died. But more importantly, we must remember how they lived. And in doing so, we honor the dignity, the power and the faith that these Jews had.

Our enemies tried to make us untermenschen--sub-humans. They tried to annihilate us, to rid the world forever of the Jews. But they didn't know who they were dealing with. They didn't know what it means to be a Jew. For the Jew is not one who merely strives to be human. The Jew is one who strives to be G‑dly. And that can never, never, be destroyed.