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Explain The Responses Of Two Different Jewish Theologians To The Holocaust

978 words - 4 pages

Religious people from many religions all over the world need a response to the Holocaust to understand what to believe, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Some religious people need a response to the Holocaust to justify their belief in God after such destruction has taken place, even though God is supposed to be benevolent, all loving. Jews specifically need a response to the Holocaust a great amount of those who died in the Holocaust were Jewish and since then many theologians have tried to decipher the message of the Holocaust. Fackenheim has a unique response to the Holocaust and his theory of a new commandment, and his answers of how to prevail ...view middle of the document...

In addition, he argues that the Holocaust was not an ‘expression of Divine justice’ because it is simply inconceivable for him that God would punish the Jews so severely; God is supposed to be benevolent. Many other responses to the Holocaust contrast with the response of Sacks because they believe that the Holocaust was a punishment for the sins of the Jewish people. Elchanan Wasserman believed it was due to the assimilation of the Jewish people, integrating among others, despite the fact that 'God had chosen the Jewish people for himself and set them apart to live holy lives'. Some people explained the Holocaust by saying that the Jews were punished due to the 'rejection' of Jesus Christ. Sacks said that this had incidentally led to discussions of the ‘spiritual bankruptcy of Christian religion’. Jonathan Sacks also looked at two ways of responding to the Holocaust: By reviewing the story of Jonah, and the story of Job. Jonah became angry when God refused to punish the angry, rude and bad people Ninevah. Sacks believes that Jonah's response was wrong because he does not think that the Holocaust was a punishment. On the other hand, Job was the victim of misfortune and bad luck. He accepted it, and remained a believer in God, despite his friends saying that this was a punishment. God then spoke out against the friends and therefore restored Job's belief in God. Sacks prefers this response and believes that receiving the State of Israel is the miracle in which God revealed himself. He therefore believes that the response of Job was better because he always had faith in God, and so a miracle happened, bringing fresh hope. In summary, Sacks thinks that one should continually believe in God, despite the Holocausts (in the past, present or future), so that miracles can occur.
Fackenheim believed that the Holocaust was a unique, individual and distinctive event of overwhelming horror:...

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