By Michael L. Morgan
To at the present time Jewish thinkers fight to articulate the precise reaction to the unparalleled disaster of the Holocaust. the following, Morgan deals the 1st finished review of Post-Holocaust Jewish theology, quoting widely from and reading all the major American writings of the move. Morgan's lucid research clarifies the historical past of the flow within the postwar interval, its origins, its personality, and its legacy for next pondering, theological and another way. eventually, Morgan's basic goal is to inform the tale of the stream, to light up its actual, deep element, and to illustrate its carrying on with relevance this present day.
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Extra info for Beyond Auschwitz: Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought in America
Later I will show that Irving Greenberg and Emil Fackenheim recall in their own way the very same practices, the burning of the children, and they will be moved to treat the unspeakable deaths of innocent children in those burning pits as exemplary of the evil of Auschwitz. What Wiesel recalls may be mad, a nightmare, but it did occur, and it burned into his soul the questions, what can one believe and imagine, how can one live, in such a world? Primo Levi was a chemist from Turin, Italy. His memoirs Survival in Auschwitz (1958) and The Reawakening (1963) record his experiences in Auschwitz from 1944 to January 1945 and, after the liberation of the camps, his journey of return through eastern Europe to Italy and civilization.
Was I awake? I could not believe it. How could it be possible for them to burn people, children, and for the world to keep silent? No, none of this could be true. It was a nightmare. A moment later someone starts to recite the kaddish, the prayer for the dead, and Wiesel takes it to be extraordinary, people uttering this prayer for themselves. He recoils. “For the ﬁrst time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent.
In the end, these crimes or actions were thought-less, that is, performed without thought or plan or intention or even without the agent's conception of what they amounted to. This is the account of the Nazi agents in the essay “Organized Guilt” and in the section on the elite and the mob in OT; it is also, I think, the account that lies behind Arendt's portrait of Eichmann, who appears to her as similarly acting without thought, that is, without the deliberation and judgment that would tie his motives to his conduct, described in a certain way.