Holocaust Theologians, Judaism

  1. First of all, how do you spell the biggest concentration camp in the Holocaust?
  2. List all the theologians you need to know and describe in a couple of words each's argument. (10)
    • Wiesel: angry, remember, human solidarity, education
    • Rubenstein: death of God of history
    • Cohen: human tremendum, divine filament
    • Berkovits: hester panim, hidden face of God
    • Maybaum: churbans
    • Fackenheim: tikkum olam (repair together), 614th mitzvot
    • Dan Cohn-Sherbok: hope in life after death.
    • Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks: just another calamity, remember without hate, will never understand H.
    • Wasserman: punishment from God for assimilation and Zionism
    • Maza: punishment from God, for straying away from Torah.
  3. Outline briefly how Elie Wiesel's response to the Holocaust transformed over time.
    • At first, he was angry with God and protests to God.
    • Dan Cohn-Sherbok also says he was confused. 
    • However, Cohn-Sherbok fails to mention Wiesel's more mature response, which is...
    • Important to remember the past
    • Human Solidarity - humans must transform divine injustice, we have the power to change things on Earth.
    • Importance on education - give humans this power by education.
  4. Give 2 quotes to show Elie Wiesel's anger and confusion - his initial response.
    • "I will never forget the flames that consumed my faith forever". [From 'Night']
    • "If I told you I believe in God, I will be lying. If I told you I don't believe in God, I will be lying."
  5. Give the Wiesel quote about remembering.
    To Wiesel, remembering is to "wrench the victims from oblivion".
  6. Give 2 quotes on Wiesel's idea of human solidarity.
    • "Transform divine injustice into human justice and compassion".
    • "Let us be angry together".
  7. Give 3 facts about Wiesel's response by promoting education.
    • Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C
    • President of US Holocaust Memorial Council
    • Talks and books
  8. What are the main points that Rubenstein makes?
    • Death of God of history - impossibel to continue to believe in omnipotent and beneficent God of history, unless we see Histler as instruments of God's will.
    • But he still says Jewish laws are still important for building community and share crisis through traditions.
    • Reject view Israel/Jews were chosen
    • Reject view that Israel was tested like Job.
  9. Give Rubenstein's 2 quotes.
    • "Each of must accept that the universe is unconcerned with our lives, prayers and hopes."
    • "God is the ultimate nothing"
  10. What are the main points that Cohen makes?
    • Mindful  of Rudolf Otto's characterisation of God's holiness as 'mysterium tremendum'.
    • Describes Holocaust as 'human tremendum' - an unfathomable mystery, almost beyond human understanding.
    • God is still existent, but it does not interfere with human life/history - in this way, slight problem for classical Jews.
    • God is the 'divine filament' within human history.
  11. What's Cohen's quote about God not interfering?
    "God's role is not to act as a direct agent in human affairs, but as a teacher".
  12. What are Berkovits' main points? Also one quote.
    • Wrote "Faith after the Holocaust".
    • Hester panim - hidden face of God, to allow human free will.
    • God has an incomprehensible plan? 
    • "In His hiddenness He was actually present".
    • [A traditional view, he does not seem to challenge the traditional view - quite weak and unclear].
  13. What are Maybaum's main points?
    • Holocaust is the third churban - creative destructions - in Jewish history. There are periods of massive destruction but from each comes some type of positive consequence, almost a necessity.
    • 586BCE - oral laws written down
    • 70CE - synagogues created
    • Holocaust - to eliminate medieval times and modernise. (also brought State of Israel).
    • [Another traditional view]
  14. What are Emil Fackenheim's main points?
    • traditional explanations of evil and suffering do not apply to the Holocaust, it is too enormous a tragedy
    • Tikkum Olam - humanity's shared responsibility to repair and transform.
    • 614th mitzvot (got a lot of criticism for that), that said not to give Histler a postumous victory
    • To do this: 1. Survive, 2. Remember, 3. Do not despair of God, 4. Do not despair of the world
  15. Quote Fackenheim's 614th mitzvot.
    • "The authentic Jew of today is forbidden to hand Hitler yet another posthumous vitory".
    • [Importance to survive, remember, and to not despair of God or the world.]
  16. What are Dan-Cohn Sherbok's main points?
    • Encourages all Jews to consider hope in life after death.
    • Says how secular Zionists saw return to Israel as a substitute for a Messiah.
  17. What article did Sacks write? What are the main points of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks?
    • Wrote "holocaust survivors can remember without hating".
    • Just another calamity.
    • Similar to Berkovits - we will never understand Holocaust.
    • Must remember - similar to Wiesel. 
    • Do not hate
    • Mentions Job - like Berkovits.
    • [Very much pragmatic and forward-looking response - can draw similarities with Wiesel.]
  18. What are the 2 quotes from Jonathan Sacks?
    • Remember: "Remember, for without memory a civilisation travels blind".
    • Do not hate: "hate destroys the hated, but it destroys the hater even more".
  19. What are the main points Wasserman makes?
    • Holocaust is a punishment for...
    • Sin of assimilation
    • Sin of Zionism (ask)
  20. Main points of Maza.
    • Holocaust punishment for..
    • Jews turning away from Torah-centred life.
  21. Which theologians do you think are quite-forward looking/pragmatic and in particular, talk about remembering?
    • Wiesel - must remember, human solidarity
    • Fackenheim - 614th mitzvot - remember, survive, don't despair. Tikkum Olam - repair together
    • Jonathan Sacks - remember without hate
  22. Which theologians believe Holocaust to have been a punishment?
    • Wasserman - for assimilation & Zionism
    • Maza - from straying away from Torah-centred life
  23. Which theologians to a degree lose hope in God and place more importance on humans?
    • Rubenstein - death of God of history
    • Wiesel - angry with God, humans can reverse divine injustice
  24. Which theologians emphasise the mystery of the Holocaust and the incomprehensible nature of God?
    • Cohen - human tremendum, God as "divine filament"
    • Berkovits - Hester Panim - hidden face of God
    • Johnathan Sacks - can never understand
  25. Which theologians believe there was some kind of purpose to the Holocaust?
    • Maybaum - churbans - creative destruction
    • Wasserman and Maza - punishment
    • (Possibly Berkovits - Hester Panim, some incomprehensible plan on behalf of God?)
Card Set
Holocaust Theologians, Judaism
All the theologians and their quotes and main ideas. And some links.