Download After Tragedy and Triumph: Essays in Modern Jewish Thought by Michael Berenbaum PDF

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By Michael Berenbaum

The tale of yank Jewry is inextricably entwined with the striking defeat of the Holocaust and the rebirth of the country of Israel. notwithstanding, for Michael Berenbaum, and others of his new release, whose grownup recognition incorporated the battle in Lebanon and the Palestinian Uprisings, the story is extra anguished, for the Jewish everyone is now divided, doubtful in regards to the implications of the previous and the course in their destiny. Berenbaum explores the Jewish id of this new release, the 1st to mature after tragedy and triumph. He probes the Holocaust's influence on Jewish awareness and the imprint of yankee tradition on Jewish identification. not easy Zionism's traditional assumptions, he info American Jews' altering dating to Israel as he examines the tensions created inside of Jewish culture among a heritage of victimization and the empowerment of Jews. whereas demonstrating that the protection of victory is one step from the affliction of sufferers, even if the victors have lately emerged from the fireplace, Berenbaum holds out the wish of liberation for Judaism, retaining that 5 thousand years of background, with its bankruptcy of Holocaust and empowerment, supply a special origin upon which to construct a destiny. Michael Berenbaum is Hymen Goldman Professor of Theology at Georgetown collage and venture Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. he's the writer or editor of numerous books, together with The imaginative and prescient of the Void: Theological Reflections at the Works of Elie Wiesel and The Holocaust: spiritual and Political Implications (with John Roth).

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Often one can dissent from his views with ease, especially when his statements are flip or inaccurate. Yet one must examine his claim that inherent in the desire to affirm the uniqueness of the Holocaust - apart from the issue of its factual validity - may be a secular translation ofJewish chosenness wherein a people's specialness, once derived spiritually from the divine revelation at Sinai, is now recast as the inheritance of those wronged by the demonic anti-God (so to speak) who acted at Auschwitz.

Most importantly, Jews were killed not for what they were or for what they practiced or believed, but for the fact that they were - all Jews were to be exterminated, not merely the Jewish soul. Jews were no longer considered, as they were in Christian theology, the symbol of evil; rather, they were regarded as subhuman and were thus eliminated. Even the traditional category of Jewish martyrdom was denied to the victims of the Holocaust because they lacked the essential element of choice in their deaths.

Yet these two men differ markedly in their personal histories, their legacy and destiny. Simon Wiesenthal defines the word "Holocaust" as the systematic murder of 11 million people, of whom 6 million were Jews killed because of their Jewishness, and 5 million were non-Jews - Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, political prisoners, Poles, Ukrainians, the handicapped and the mentally ill - killed for a variety of reasons in an apparatus of destruction designed for mass extermination. The machinery of destruction included the Einsatzgruppen, the concentration camps, and the extermination camps with their gas chambers and ovens.

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