preview

Explain the responses of two different Jewish theologians to the Holocaust.

Good Essays
Religious people from many religions all over the world need a response to the Holocaust to understand what to believe, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Some religious people need a response to the Holocaust to justify their belief in God after such destruction has taken place, even though God is supposed to be benevolent, all loving. Jews specifically need a response to the Holocaust a great amount of those who died in the Holocaust were Jewish and since then many theologians have tried to decipher the message of the Holocaust. Fackenheim has a unique response to the Holocaust and his theory of a new commandment, and his answers of how to prevail after such evil was committed are unusual and controversial. The 'Commandment' is explicit and detailed, and although Fackenheim's theories do not explain why the Holocaust happened, or how to prevent it, he explains how to live after the Holocaust. Sacks continued to believe in God after the Holocaust and does not think that the Holocaust was unique, and recognises the previous persecutions of the Jewish people. Although this constant destruction against the Jewish people is not positive, the idea that the Jewish people can always survive and recover from such events is encouraging and hopeful.
Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi in the UK, believes that the Holocaust was neither unique, nor special due to the fact that the Jews have been persecuted frequently throughout history. Therefore, he uses a lower case 'h' in the word Holocaust, to emphasise its indifference to other mass persecutions against the Jewish people. He believes that the Holocaust does not change anything, but he accepts that the Jewish people ‘will never understand the ...

... middle of paper ...

...heim said that to despair of the world in which God exists would 'make it a meaningless place and to abandon any of these imperatives... would be to hand him yet other, posthumous victories', meaning that anyone of Jewish descent ignoring these commands, would be letting Hitler triumph and be satisfied. In addition, to prohibit Hitler from winning further, the law includes grandchildren of Jews and Secular Jews (anyone whom the Nazi's would interpret as being Jewish). In addition, Fackenheim acknowledges that because 1 million Jewish children died due to the faith of their grandparents, the Holocaust could not have been a punishment from God. Overall, Fackenheim believed despite the horrific evil exclusively experienced during the Holocaust, it is now a commandment to persist in ones belief in God and to remain as a Jewish people, to ensure that Hitler cannot 'win'.
Get Access