The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust

By Melissa Raphael | Go to book overview

4

Face to face (with God) in Auschwitz

[On] your behalf my heart says, ‘Seek My Face!’ O Lord, I seek Your face.

(Ps. 27:8)

We have seen that the dominant theme of post-Holocaust theology has been that of the eclipse or hiddenness of God, whether as a function of the mystery of divine activity or of human freedom. But Jewish theology has also wanted to say that its God is an accompanying God, going with the assembly of Israel, even in its exile. Theologies of divine hiddenness (qua desertion) do not keep faith with that wandering, deported God whose presence establishes and maintains community wherever Israel finds itself. Such theologies ignore how community was not only destroyed by the Holocaust but also sustained. Most particularly, such theologies ignore both new and traditional forms of community sustained by women.

In a letter to the Jewish feminist artist Judy Chicago, Vera John-Steiner, a survivor, wrote: ‘Although I am reluctant to make great generalizations about women during the Holocaust … nonetheless, I believe that it is the rootedness in community that is ontologically fundamental to Jewish culture, and it is the effort to maintain community that can be specifically seen in the female Holocaust experience.’ 1 John-Steiner’s view is far from atypical: the evidence for sustained relationship constitutes a considerable literature in itself. It is the record of women’s efforts to sustain relationships of care in Auschwitz and other camps (whether heterosexual or lesbian) 2 that offers the post-Holocaust theological reader a textual insight into the presence of God among them; of their having carried God aloft through Auschwitz. In the previous chapter I looked to see how women might have prepared the way for divine presence by keeping the world fit or ready for God. In this and the next chapter I look to see how that presence could be disclosed.

There is no doubt that sustaining or developing relations of care in Auschwitz could have been a survival strategy beneficial to both parties; an act of pragmatic solidarity rather than an ethical or spiritual response to the suffering other. But that this was often the case does not exclude the possibility that care also signified more and other than the survival of the self or family for its own sake. 3 By ‘more’,

-86-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editors’ Preface vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Reading Post-Holocaust Theology from a Feminist Perspective 19
  • 2 - The Hiding of God’s Face in Auschwitz 43
  • 3 - Feminist Intimations of the Holy in Auschwitz 59
  • 4 - Face to Face (With God) in Auschwitz 86
  • 5 - A Mother/God in Auschwitz 107
  • 6 - The Redemption of God in Auschwitz 128
  • The Princess and the City of Death 161
  • Notes 166
  • Select Glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish Terms 205
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 221
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.