In the decades after the Holocaust, Jewish theologians struggled to come to terms with the consequences and implications of the Holocaust for the Jewish conversation about God. While the Holocaust was not the first time that Jews suffered a communal catastrophe, the ancient answers to painful questions no longer seemed adequate. While the initial attempts to imagine Jewish religious belief after the Holocaust were tentative and uncertain, by the 1960s many major Jewish theologians were identifying the Holocaust as “the” key issue of modern Jewish religion.
In our discussions, we will look at some of the key writings of “the Holocaust Theologians” – those who affirmed belief, those who denied belief, those who saw the Holocaust as “one more in a series of tragedies” and those who saw the Holocaust as a defining moment changing Jewish faith forever. We will also look at some of the initial attempts at liturgies for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Commemoration Day). The insights of Jewish feminist, humanist and mystical approaches to God will also be shared as possible spiritual responses to the Holocaust.
November 7, 14, 28 (no class 11/21)