Summarizing: Is Such Even Possible?
The time for Jewish and Christian guilt and accusation is long past. To include among us only those who are now willing to maintain past structures and past religious rationalizations subsequent to the Shoah: is equally as pernicious as excluding those who no longer wish to do so. What is of primary relevance and importance are those Jews and Christians who, freely, are willing to practice those forms of historically traditional behaviors and non-historically traditional behaviors that they themselves find meaningful, out of their genuine desire to commit themselves to the Jewish or Christian people and future and to the God who may be seen as having had something to do with their origins. The "bottom line" must be our willingness to make those commitments rather than the standards by which any subgroup of Jews or Christians chooses to evaluate the totality of its membership and include or exclude. To impose guilt upon those who no longer think and act in accord with the ways of the past is to deny both the present and the future. Our refocused religious and theological agendas must now be inclusive rather than exclusive if our world is to maintain any sense of equilibrium and survive, given the contemporary pressures with which it is currently confronted, and in that process, make room for the Jewish children of Shoah survivors and their descendants. To this end, I have chosen to examine those categories of Jewish faith that suggest themselves to me as primary: God, covenant, prayer, halakhah and mitzvot, life cycle, festival cycle, Israel and Zionism, Christianity, and Jewish-Christian relations.
In my Introduction, after having shared something of my autobiography, I focused on the rationale for this book: The fact that the Shoah presents enormous theological problems for one committed to a viable religious tradition. All those who have thus far addressed these difficulties, however, have either been survivors themselves or