Tisha B'Av

Using an incandescent bulb for Neros Shabbos & Havdala- v1 #11 by R' Aaron Cohen


12:54 minutes (2.22 MB)

The Jews in the Kovno Ghetto did not have the means to acquire conventional candles or oil for Shabbos candles and Havdala. Could they fulfill the Mitzva of Neros Shabbos and Borei Me’orei Ha’aish on Motzei Shabbos through incandescent electric bulbs?

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Can a deaf mute count in a Minyan & receive an Aliya - v3 #2 by R' Aaron Cohen


17:32 minutes (3.01 MB)

Rav Oshry presents a heart-wrenching question posed by R’ Moshe ben R’ Aryeh, who davened in Rav Oshry’s Bais Medrash. While on a work detail, he looked for potatoes and vegetables growing in the fields to give some nourishment to the starving Jews working with him. The Germans caught and beat him mercilessly, causing him to lose his hearing and speech faculties. He maintained his cognitive abilities. Could he be counted in a Minyan? Could he receive an Aliya to the Torah?

Bishul on Shabbos in the Kovno ghetto - v1 #5 by R' Aaron Cohen


12:33 minutes (2.16 MB)

A student of Rav Oshry by the name of Yaakov, was given the opportunity to work in the kitchen where food was prepared for the Jews. This would allow Yaakov to avoid the excruciating work that Jews were subject to, and would also give him greater access to food, which would increase his chances of survival. Would he be able to work in the kitchen even though he would be forced to cook on Shabbos? And, if he was allowed to cook the food on Shabbos, was he allowed to eat it?

Erasing the numbers tatooed on one's arm - v4 #22 by R' Aaron Cohen


9:27 minutes (1.63 MB)

A young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust was haunted by the horrors that she had experienced. Was she allowed to erase the numbers that the Nazis had tattooed onto her arm, in order to put these terrifying events behind her?

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Reading the Parshas Hashavua on Shabbos afternoon - v4 #1 by R' Aaron Cohen


15:20 minutes (2.64 MB)

Elul 1941. The Germans, intent on rapidly building a major military airbase outside of Kovno, increase the demand on Jewish slave labor. The Jews are forced to work, including on Shabbos. The workday ends at 7:30pm, and there is no time for davening or Krias HaTorah. The question is posed to Rav Oshry: can the workers layn the Parshas Hashavua when they return to the ghetto at 7:30?

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Giving up one's life for general Mitzvos - v5 #14 by R' Aaron Cohen


16:33 minutes (2.85 MB)

Rav Oshry was given the task of running a bathhouse that was a lifesaver for the Jews in the Kovno Ghetto, who were suffering ailments and sickness brought on by the terrible hygiene in the ghetto. He made sure that the bathhouse remained closed on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Community leaders expressed concern that if the Nazis found out, Rav Oshry would be killed. Was Rav Oshry permitted to endanger himself in order to prevent Jews from desecrating Shabbos?

Reference Material (pdf)