Jewish Renewal and the Holocaust
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Shaul Magid
Jewish Renewal and the Holocaust

Steven Swift

One could argue that all post-war Jewish theology is post-Holocaust theology. Without taking a stand on the historical debate as to whether or not the Holocaust is a unique event in general or in Jewish history, the existential impact of this catastrophe was such that Jewish thinking after the war was by necessity thinking through the war. Elie Weisel once said that he understood how someone who was a believer before the Holocaust could become an atheist afterward, and how someone who was an atheist before the Holocaust could later become a believer. What was incomprehensible to him was someone whose theological worldview was the same before and after the Holocaust.

Understanding Jewish Renewal as a post-Holocaust phenomenon requires us to understand the role the Holocaust played in its development.