Rethinking Jewish Faith: The Child of a Survivor Responds

By Steven L. Jacobs | Go to book overview

dition a disservice. History continues to present challenges to faith; the Shoah may very well be the most onerous of all challenges yet faced by Judaism and the Jewish people. But we will never know until we confront it directly, without blinders of any sort, open to all of its problems and its difficulties, weaving our way through the morass it hits created for us.


Final Thoughts

That this book is dedicated to our children, Hannah, Naomi, and Shea, is as it should be; and with that fixed firmly in mind, this introductory essay comes full circle. The wrestling contained within the covers of this book is a journey of the mind, an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual struggle to come to grips with new, however painful realities, most assuredly frightening in their implications. These children, grandchildren of the survivors, the Third Generation, are the first for whom the Shoah is but a distant vision, a periodic reminder of a past perhaps left well enough alone as they themselves struggle anew to confront their own world and their own realities. They are, also, the first generation for whom the Shoah may very well recede into the dimmer recesses of consciousness, all but forgotten other than on suitable and proper occasions. Yet they, too, are inheritors of this same terrible legacy as their parents; and they, too, must be taught, along with their neighbors and friends, the awful and horrific details of this terrible tragedy if they are to participate in ensuring its nonrepetition. Historical knowledge together with philosophical and theological implications of the Shoah is, therefore, the place with which to begin. May this volume aid them in their journey, coming to whatever conclusions they themselves deem appropriate. And may the events of the past with which this book wrestles ever remain so.


Notes
1
The current Bosnian-Herzegovinian tragedy of "ethnic cleansing" on the part of the Serbs and Croats and their Muslim counterparts-and their obvious parallels to the Nazi policy of the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem-is but the latest example.
2
Here I am thinking primarily of the work of Martin Bergman and Milton Jucovy, Leo Eitinger and Robert Krell, Steven Luel and Paul Marcus, and even Helen Epstein, to a greater or lesser degree. (See "Notes and Bibliography" at the end of this book for full bibliographic citations.)

-11-

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