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HGS 536/736 - The Holocaust and Jewish Law: Balancing Survival and Jewish Observance

This course explains the role that Jewish law (Halakah) played in decisions many Jews had to make during the Holocaust and after the Holocaust had ended. When confronted with the choice between survival versus Jewish observance, a wide variety of opinions results concerning which choice takes precedence. Some of the issues to be discussed include: Smothering a crying infant to save a community in hiding from the Nazis; the status of Jews who received expedient conversions to Christianity; when suicide is justifiable, and what should be done with the ashes of Jewish victims.