Rethinking Jewish Faith: The Child of a Survivor Responds

By Steven L. Jacobs | Go to book overview

Having now presented both a rethought vision of both the life cycle and the holiday calendar of the Jewish people, it is appropriate that the last mentioned event is the newest: the celebration of Yom ha-Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. Now, after the Shoah, the question of a meaningful, relevant, and significant theological and religiously rethought understanding of the role of the State of Israel in the life of the Jewish people, and a religiously rethought understanding of the place of Zionism in Jewish theological thinking are paramount. It is to these questions that we turn in Chapter 7, "Israel and Zionism in Our Post-Shoah World."


Notes
1.
See Babylonian Talmud, Baba Kama 2a for the complete listing.
2.
Following a comment found in Shemot Rabbah 25:12.
3.
Encyclopedia Judaica ( Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1971), vol. 13, P-Rec, #163.
4.
Those who would argue for perceiving the Passover liberation experience as a one-time demonstration of Divine interaction and concern raise, to my way of thinking, all over again the "problems of God": Why one time and none else? Lack of caring and concern? Subsequent Divine impotence? Liberation from slavery and bondage but not from genocidal murder and obliteration? While, perhaps, attempting to remain faithful both to the textual tradition of the Torah and its subsequent rabbinic evolution, its does almost nothing to address the realities of the Shoah.
5.
Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 12, Min-O, #1382 ff.
6.
Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 14, Red-Si, #1319 ff.
7.
Scriptures may, therefore, be very well understood as the creative human response to what was truly believed to be Divine inspiration or action. That there are now those among us, members of the Second Generation, who are now no longer comfortable with even this possibility is now obvious-but not necessarily in total conflict: To say that something is done in response to "Divine inspiration" or the perception of Divine inspiration is, in truth, to still admit an ignorance of the "ways of God." What is at issue, however, is God's direct action or intervention in the affairs of humanity rather than what lies behind them; and here, with regard to the Shoah, God is found wanting.
8.
Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey.
9.
Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 13, P-Rec, #1389.

-78-

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