The Jewish people -- and all of contemporary humanity -- is, at best, little more than a single generation away from the nightmarish events of the Shoah (Holocaust). Though the wound itself continues to fester -- hardly a day goes by without the appearance of a new book, newspaper article, radio or television comment 1 -- survivors and their offspring, as well as those only indirectly affected, continue to experience healing. Indeed, the very fact that there are offspring of those who experienced the unspeakable is, in and of itself, one measure of that healing. That this "Second Generation" -- the offspring of the original survivors as we now are called and now choose to call ourselves -- in turn chooses to have children furthers that healing, and may very well be the loudest response to Adolf Hitler's quest for a world Judenrein ("Jew free").
Problematic, however, is the literature that addresses the socalled inheritance of the Second Generation of victims -- we children of diminished families -- from the perspective of Jewish faith, belief, and practice. The concerns of too many writers are not with the faith of the Second Generation, and issues and concerns related to that faith, but rather with the psychological health and well-being of the children of survivors. 2
Then, too, those Jewish writers who have directly confronted the Shoah and its religious and theological implications have profoundly and eloquently presented their thoughts to the worldwide Jewish community. But, like the "psychological school," they have not directly extended their thinking to the impact of the legacy of the Shoah upon the very generation who have now grown to maturity as adults, marriage partners, and parents, deeply affected by the experiences of their parents, still connected to and committed to the Jewish people and faith, but no longer either comfortable with or contented with the historically traditional responses of Judaism. 3And further, to their own marriage partners and children who then become survivors