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Responsa from the Holocaust

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Responsa from the Holocaust
Call No: 296.179 O82r

Call Number296.179 O82r
Dates1989; ©1983
Statement of Responsibilityby Ephraim Oshry ; translated by Y. Leiman.
Creators & ContributorsOshry, Efroim (author)
Leiman, Y’hoshua (translator)
SummaryRabbi Ephraim Oshry "was one of the few Halakhic authorities to survive the Holocaust in the ghetto of Kovno, Lithuania. By a quirk of fate, he had access, even in the ghetto, to major works of Rabbinic literature which he used as references in the formulation of his Teshuvos to questions on Jewish religious observance in the ghetto... The inquiries addressed to Rabbi Oshry included questions on both ritual law and Jewish ethics... Rabbi Oshry scribbled these questions, and his replies, on scraps of paper, which he placed in tin cans and buried in the ghetto as a record of his own religious activities and the efforts of his fellow inmates to observe their Judaism. After the liberation of Kovno in the summer of 1944 he was able to retrieve his notes. He edited them and published them." —Book jacket
Lithuania and Its Jews

1941: Outrage Begins
  • Endangering Yourself to Save Another
  • A Kohein Who Was Forced to Convert
  • Shaving with a Razor
  • Making a Tahara in Advance
  • Jews Forced to Shred a Torah Scroll
  • Sabbath Torah Reading for Slave Laborers
  • Cooking on the Sabbath in the Ghetto
  • May a Person Save Himself by Causing the Death of a Fellow Jew?
  • Using the Garments of Martyred Jews
  • Blowing a Cracked Shofar
  • Bringing Tefilin into a Hospital Where All Personal Objects Are Burned
  • Eventual Danger to Life
  • Critically Ill Patients Fasting on Yom Kippur
  • Sanctioning Unsatisfactory Religious Marriages
  • A Suka of Boards Stolen from the Germans
  • Pre-Dawn Donning of Tefilin and Praying
  • Making up Lost Prayers
  • Commiting Suicide to Be Buried Among Jews
  • The Blessing for Martyrdom
  • Taking the Property of the Dead
  • Reusing the Garments of Martyrs
  • Reciting the HaGomel Blessing
  • Saying Kaddish for Martyrs
  • Circumcision by an Irreligious Jew
1942 to 1944: Holocaust
  • Reading of Shema by Slave Laborers
  • Electric Lights as Shaboss Candles
  • Eating Soaked Matza to Fulfill the Passover Mitzva
  • Unsalted Meat and Bloody Carrion
  • Redeeming a Firstborn Son on Behalf of the Father
  • Learning Torah with Nazi Murderers
  • Fulfilling the Mitzva of a Purim Meal with Soup
  • The Crushed Kohein
  • Saving Oneself with a Baptismal Certificate
  • Chametz that Cannot Be Sold Before Passover
  • Fulfilling the Mitzva of the Four Cups on Passover in the Ghetto
  • Passover in the Ghetto
  • Performing a Caesarean Section on a Dead Woman
  • A Man the Germans Beat Deaf and Dumb
  • Reciting Nacheim in Grace After the Meal on Tisha BeAv
  • Risking One's Life to Study Torah or to Pray
  • Abortion in the Ghetto
  • A Castrated Man as a Cantor
  • Cremation to Avoid Burial Among Gentiles
  • Reciting "Who has not made me a slave"
  • Opening a Grave to Remove Lost Property
  • Eating in the Presence of a Corpse
  • Kohanim Wearing Shoes While Blessing the People
  • Chametz After Passover
  • Public Prayer with Hidden Participants
  • Does a Ghetto Home Need a Mezuza?
  • Tzitzis Made from Stolen German Wool
  • Burying a Sabbath Desecrator Among Observers
  • The Man Whose Left Hand the Germans Amputated
  • The Hoarse Kohein
  • Risking One's Life to Join the Partisans
  • Praying on Tisha BeAv Morning with Talis and Tefilin
  • May a Jew write the Letters R.C. (Roman Catholic) in His Passport?
  • Greeting Fellow-Jews Bareheaded
  • Donning Tefilin before Bar Mitzva
  • The Right to Risk One's Life
  • Taking a Lulav on the Sabbath
  • Entrusting Jewish Children to Non-Jews
  • Reciting Kaddish for Infants
1944 to Present: Horrors unto the Third Generation
  • Entering a Church
  • May Circumcision Follow Redemption of the Firstborn?
  • Mohel and Doctor in Conflict over Circumcision
  • Anesthesia for Circumcision
  • Fulfilling One's Obligation for Shema by Hearing It
  • Bar-Mitzva or Not?
  • Self-Redemption of a Firstborn Son
  • A Father's Name for an Adopted Child
  • The Son Named After His Presumably Dead Father
  • Circumcising on Shaboss a Child Born to a Jewish Mother from a Gentile Father
  • Seeking Out the Murderers of One's Parents
  • Reciting Mi Shebeirach for a Gentile
  • Burying the Bones of Martyrs
  • Transferring Martyrs' from a Non-Jewish Cemetery
  • Using Gold from the Teeth of the Dead
  • Reinterring a Jewess Buried Among Gentiles
  • Using a Gravestone with a Cross
  • A Tombstone that Does not Mark a Grave
  • Using Trees from a Cemetery
  • A Sidewalk Paved with Jewish Gravestones
  • Reciting Kaddish for a Gentile Woman
  • Burying the Remains of Torah Arks
  • An Ark Curtain Used by a Non-Jew
  • Utilizing the Cover of a Torah-Scroll
  • What to Do with Fragments of a Torah-Scroll
  • The Sunken Torah Scroll
  • Erasing Transferred Torah Script
  • Torah Scrolls, Tefilin, and Mezuzos Found in the Possession of Non-Jews
  • Torah Volumes Abused by Gentiles
  • Returning Sacred Works to Their Owners
  • Using a Paroches for a Chupa
  • The Child of a Jewish Woman and a Non-Jew
  • A Married Woman Who Bore a Gentile's Child
  • The Case of the Mamzer Rabbi
  • Women Prostituted by the Germans
  • Removing Numbers Branded by the Germans on Their Victims
  • The Cross on the Biceps
  • People Who Lived as Gentiles and Are Now Returning to the Jewish Fold
  • May One Who Disguised Himself as a Catholic Correct Torah Scrolls?
  • A Jew Who Defended the Murderers of Jews
  • Penance for Owning a Passport Identifying Oneself as a Catholic
  • The Repentant Kapo
  • A Kapo's Name
  • A Kohein Who Converted to Christianity
  • Burying a Possible Apostate
  • May a Mercy Killer Lead Prayers?
  • A Kohein Who Killed a Gentile
  • Cannibalism
Physical Description xxx, 218 pages, 10 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, facsimiles, portraits ; 23 cm
Carrier Typevolume
LanguageEnglish, Translated from the Hebrew by Y. Leiman.
PublisherNew York : Judaica Press
DistributorBrookline, MA : Israel Book Shop, Inc.
  • Abridged English version of the original Hebrew five-volume series published under the title: Sheʼelot u-teshuvot mi-maʻamaḳim
RecognitionGifted by Ronnie Tessler