By Michael Berenbaum
The tale of yankee Jewry is inextricably entwined with the notable defeat of the Holocaust and the rebirth of the nation of Israel. although, for Michael Berenbaum, and others of his new release, whose grownup attention incorporated the struggle in Lebanon and the Palestinian Uprisings, the story is extra anguished, for the Jewish individuals are now divided, doubtful concerning the implications of the previous and the course in their destiny. Berenbaum explores the Jewish identification of this new release, the 1st to mature after tragedy and triumph. He probes the Holocaust's influence on Jewish awareness and the imprint of yankee tradition on Jewish identification. demanding Zionism's traditional assumptions, he info American Jews' altering dating to Israel as he examines the tensions created inside of Jewish culture among a heritage of victimization and the empowerment of Jews. whereas demonstrating that the protection of victory is one step from the suffering of sufferers, even if the victors have lately emerged from the fireplace, Berenbaum holds out the desire of liberation for Judaism, holding that 5 thousand years of heritage, with its bankruptcy of Holocaust and empowerment, supply a different starting place upon which to construct a destiny. Michael Berenbaum is Hymen Goldman Professor of Theology at Georgetown college and undertaking Director of the USA Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. he's the writer or editor of numerous books, together with The imaginative and prescient of the Void: Theological Reflections at the Works of Elie Wiesel and The Holocaust: spiritual and Political Implications (with John Roth).
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Extra info for After Tragedy and Triumph: Essays in Modern Jewish Thought and the American Experience
In fact, the uniqueness of the Jewish experience can best be documented by comparing it with the Nazi treatment of other persecuted populations. Only by understanding the fate of other groups, detailing where it paralleled Jewish treatment and, more importantly, where it differed, can the distinctive nature of Jewish fate be historically demonstrated. With respect to Bauer's fear of Americanization, the question of audience should not be confused with content. The Holocaust is only "Americanized" insofar as it is explained to Americans and related to their history with ramifications for future policy.
The study of the Holocaust can provide insights that have universal import for the destiny of all humanity. A national council funded at taxpayers' expense to design a national memorial does not have the liberty to create an exclusively Jewish one in the restricted sense of the term, and most specifically with regard to audience. A purely Jewish museum is the task of the American Jewish community operating with private funding and without government subvention, as is the case with the New York Holocaust Memorial (appropriately titled "The Museum of the Jewish Heritage").
In the final analysis, private Jewish memorials and the national Holocaust museum (along with scholarship, art, and media productions) will define the Holocaust for the American public, not the words of an ineloquent president. Bauer does provide his readers with a valuable definition of the uniqueness of the Holocaust: the planned, total annihilation of an entire community and a quasi-apocalyptic, religious component whereby the death of the victim became an integral ingredient in the drama of salvation.