She’eilos U’Teshuvos Mi’maamakim

She'eilos U'Teshuvos Mi'maamakim A short series of shiurim given online by Rabbi Cohen based upon the sefer "She’eilos U’Teshuvos Mi’maamakim" by Rabbi Ephraim Oshry. This moving sefer was written during the Holocaust in the Kovno Ghetto as Rabbi Oshry grappled with issues of halacha and observance amongst his fellow Jews in the ghetto. This window into the suffering and spiritual triumph of our people during this dark period is an important lesson we can especially learn from and be inspired by during the three week period leading up to Tisha B'Av.

This lecture is presented in approximately 15 minute segments and will be updated Monday through Friday (B'li Neder) during the three weeks.

She’eilos U’Teshuvos Mi’maamakim

Click here to subscribe to the "She'eilos U'Teshuvos Mi'maamakim" podcast feed.

Saying Krias Shema while being interrupted by German guards (v4 #2) by Rabbi Aaron Cohen

19:06 minutes (3.47 MB)

Elul 5741. The Jews of the Kovno ghetto are forcibly conscripted into merciless slave labor. The days are long and the work is relentless. The question is posed to Rav Oshry: how can they fulfill the Mitzva of Krias Shema, which must be said by the third hour of the day? It is usually impossible to complete Krias Shema without being interrupted by the German guards. May one say Krias Shema in incremental sections, continuing where one left off after the interruption is over?

Download source teshuva here.

Can a Kohen who disguised himself as a non-Jew duchen (v3 #13) by Rabbi Aaron Cohen

13:14 minutes (2.47 MB)

A Jewish couple disguises themselves as non-Jews, abandoning all elements of Jewish identity in order to save themselves from the Nazis. After the war, they return to the Kovno ghetto and resume observance of Torah and Mitzvos. May the husband, who is a Kohen, fulfill the Mitzva of Nesi’as Kapayim? Does the Halacha preclude him from duchening because of his association with another religion?

Download source teshuva here.

Can a kapo serve as Shaliach Tzibbur (v3 #14) by Rabbi Aaron Cohen

10:57 minutes (2.07 MB)

After the liberation of the Kovno ghetto, religious life revived, and Shuls and Batei Medrash filled once again. A kapo who had cooperated with the Nazis and had caused suffering to his fellow Jews approached Rav Oshry and declared that he regretted what he had done and had done Teshuva for his wrongdoings. Could he serve as a Shaliach Tzibbur, or did his offenses disqualify him from the right to represent a Tzibbur of Jews in Tefilla to Hashem?

Download source teshuva here

Saving a Sefer Torah from the Nazis by throwing it into the river (v2 #19) by Rabbi Aaron Cohen

23:06 minutes (4.16 MB)

A Jew witnesses the Nazis forcing an elderly Rav to burn a Sefer Torah in public. Panic stricken out of concern that he will also be coerced into publicly destroying his own Sefer Torah, causing a great Chillul Hashem, this individual takes his Sefer Torah in the middle of the night and throws it into the river. After the liberation, this person approaches Rav Ephraim Oshry and heartbrokenly tells his story. He realizes that his actions, however well-intended, may not have been justified. Does he need atonement for having destroyed his Sefer Torah?

Syndicate content