Rethinking Jewish Faith: The Child of a Survivor Responds

By Steven L. Jacobs | Go to book overview

After the Shoah, as before, what is right, moral, and proper is just because it is right, moral, and proper and, therefore, just. Any practice of Judaism or Jews, both inside Israel and elsewhere, that excludes, for whatever reason, is both immoral and unjust. Inside Israel, the dream realized after the Shoah, that simply cannot be.

A final thought is appropriate here. As a religious Jew and a religious Zionist living in the United States, part of whose family continues to live in Israel, there does exist a special relationship between Israel and her Jewish citizenry and the American Jewish community, the largest numerically, economically, and politically "at home" Jewish community in the world resident in the sole remaining "superpower." American Jewry is not, nor has it ever been or ever will be, exclusively a ready source for aliyah, made to feel guilty for not yet have done so; nor is it an unlimited "checkbook" for Israel to do whatever, whenever, and wherever its current political-governmental leadership chooses to do, with the appropriate dollar amounts to be filled in later; nor is it the political lobbying arm of "official Israel," taking its instructions and direction from those in charge. Its strength is as an equal partner with Israel, now the two largest and most significant communities of Jews, working together to ensure the continuing survival of the Jewish people worldwide, expending whatever resources they collectively possess and using whatever clout of which they are both capable.

We turn now to Chapter 8, to an ever more troubling and problematic arena for rethinking Jewish faith, that of the interrelationship between Jews and Christians, between Judaism and Christianity, as well as those categories of Christian faith that must now be rethought in light of the Shoah.


Notes
1
One possible reason for this ignoring may very well be the relatively short distance, even today, that we are from the Shoah. Another may be the critical necessity of ensuring Israel's very physical survival, now an accomplished fact, despite the Jeremiah-like prophets of doom both inside and outside the Jewish community. And there may be others.
2
Indeed, were all Jews alive in the world today to make aliyah, it would not make any significant difference in this demographic equation despite the obvious increase in tensions and obvious benefits to the state itself.

-87-

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