Hazony, David
July 2013
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies;Summer2013, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p54
Academic Journal
Eliezer Berkovits was the first Jewish thinker to make a sustained philosophical attempt at reconciling the magnitude and specific horror of the Holocaust with a traditional Jewish approach to history. To achieve this, he first establishes the position of the questioner as "Job's brother," who has neither the immediate exposure to events of the suffering Job, nor the luxury of distance to view them as just another case of unjust suffering. Second, he rejects the concept of the Holocaust as a religious "singularity," and shows that while it may pose unique questions about the nature of modernity, it does not, in its extremity, undermine religious categories per se. Finally he addresses the problem itself, which is not so much one of logic as recognition--can we recognize the Jewish God in the ashes of Auschwitz? His answer is a qualified yes, and though he has to bend some of the classic theological categories to do so, he nonetheless makes a serious argument for faith after the Holocaust.


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