Software Review: Questioning the Shoah

Many responsa have been stored in this unusual CD-ROM.

By
April 30, 2009 11:01
2 minute read.
Software Review: Questioning the Shoah

Auschwitz holocaust 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Responsa of the Holocaust, a CD-ROM in Hebrew, with operating instructions also in English and French, by the Machon Netivei Hahalacha, POB 39, Alon Shvut, 90433, for PCs, for late teens through adults, NIS 360. Rating: ***** For religious Jews, the one huge unanswerable question about the Holocaust is why God did not stop it - or prevent it from occurring. But there are hundreds and even thousands of halachic questions that have been answered by rabbis here and abroad between 1933 and 1963 - including clergymen murdered in the Holocaust and those who survived. Many responsa have been stored in this unusual CD-ROM, which has been released by the Torah Data Bank voluntary organization in Gush Etzion and based on the databank technology of Bar-Ilan University's ongoing Responsa Project. Some 150 sources including Israel's current and former chief rabbis and even some women discuss 120 different subjects, which range alphabetically from aveida (loss) to the Tisha Be'av fast. Each is clicked to produce explanatory texts in Hebrew. All data are searchable by author, subject and date. Some of the subjects are unthinkable, such as whether pregnant women in concentration and labor camps were allowed - or required - to abort their fetuses because they would die anyway and probably endanger the mothers' lives. Is a hungry concentration camp prisoner allowed to cannibalize the flesh of a dead cellmate so he can himself survive? Another question is whether barrier contraception could have been used in accordance with Jewish law to prevent Jewish women from becoming pregnant in the camps. If one sees a torn Torah scroll in ordinary times, people are supposed to tear their clothing; on seeing a wallet made from a scroll during the Nazi era, should one display such mourning with one rip or two? When survivors learn years or decades later that their first-degree relatives died, should they suddenly sit shiva to mourn them? There was an incident on Rosh Hashana during the Shoah when 1,400 Jewish boys were caught and prepared for their gassing and cremation; they secretly asked for a fellow prisoner to blow the shofar. Should the blower agree, even though it could lead to his speedy death? Can a survivor have the blue prisoner numbers removed from his arm by laser? The responses are all very complicated and cannot be answered in one word. Both the queries and the replies shed additional light on the horrific era and prove that after and even during the worst of catastrophes, the Jewish people wanted to discover God's will.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM