Printer Friendly

Toward a new understanding of a covenant: the religious significance of Yom Ha'Shoah.

... Now in our generation, one doesn't have to dig very far to find out what was the sin that brought this horror upon us, for it is explicitly written in the words of our Sages, based on Scripture. They taught [that the Lord adjured the Children of Israel], that if they breach the oaths--not to surmount the Walls and not to push on the Redemption "I shall abandon you to be slaughtered as the gazelles and the hinds of the field." And, due to our sins, thus it was. For the heretics and nonbelievers [=the Zionists] made all sons of endeavors to breach these oaths, to surmount the Walls and to take themselves freedom and sovereignty before time has come, which is the essence of "pushing on the Redemption." And they drew the majority of the Jews to this impure idea.--Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum (1)

My argument was that, after the Holocaust, Jewish faith was broken--but there is no faith so whole as a broken faith. After all, what kind of faith could be unaffected by such destruction of human and Jewish values? Thousands of synagogues and sifrei Torah were burnt. Jewish lives were turned into objects of such little value; to save zyklon B gas, the Nazis burnt Jewish children alive. Under these circumstances, for the heart of a faith to be broken is a sign of greatness, not weakness.--Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg (2)

There can be no Jewish practice if there is no Jewish liturgical calendar. As Jews today, we take for granted the setting of the holy days in the Hebrew calendar. We do not dispute the date for Yom Kippur or for Passover--we receive a Hebrew calendar from a Jewish funeral home or from a Judaica shop and we display it in our homes. We know the date for each holiday and for the New Month. Yet, this certainty regarding the cycle of the holidays in a set calendar was not always the case. Before Hillel II, the nasi of the Jewish community in Palestine under Roman domination in the fourth century CE who introduced the first fixed calendar in Judaism, there were fierce disputes among Jews regarding the correct calculation for the setting of holidays and the New Moon. (3) The dispute over the setting of the liturgical calendar was at the heart of the dispute between the community that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls mad the priestly establishment in Jerusalem more than two thousand years ago. The community of scroll scribes, likely from Qumran, based their liturgical calendar on the solar cycle. (4) The Temple priests in Jerusalem based their determination of the date of the holidays on a lunar calendar (with adjustments to insure that each holiday was set for its appropriate season in the agricultural cycle). The Dead Sea Scroll community considered null and void the sacrifices of the priestly establishment in Jerusalem because, in their own setting of the calendar, the Temple priests were bringing sacrifices for the holidays on the wrong days. If, for example, the Jerusalem priests brought sacrifices for the pilgrimage holiday of Passover, the scroll scribes considered the sacrifices invalid because the priestly establishment followed the wrong calendar setting, therefore sacrificing for Passover on a day that was not Passover! This was not just an issue of dates and times. It was an issue of the efficacy of the cult and the issue of religious authority.

Even among the rabbis themselves, in the period following the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70, there were disputes over the setting of the holidays in the Jewish cycle of the year. According to rabbinic lore, Rabban Gamliel II, the successor of Yochanan ben Zakkai as nasi of the Jews in Judea under Rome in the first century, publicly humiliated Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananiah over a calendar dispute. Due to differences concerning the date for the New Moon--before the fixed calendar of Hillel II the determination of Rosh Chodesh was based solely on observation--each rabbi had a different date for Yom Kippur. Gamliel sent a message to Yehoshua ordering him to "appear before me with your staff and your money on the day which according to your reckoning should be the Day of Atonement." Yehoshua did so. So great was the outcry among the rabbinic colleagues of the humiliated Yehoshua over Gamliel's exertion of his authority, that the nasi was removed temporarily from his position of leadership. As with the Dead Sea Scrolls community a century earlier, the setting of the calendar was not just an issue of mathematical calculation. It was an issue of power. (5)

It should come as no surprise to the reader that six hundred years after Hillel II fixed the calendar, there were still disputes concerning the Hebrew dates of the holidays. In 922, Aharon ben Meir, head of the Jerusalem academy, announced that Passover would fall on Sunday, and not on Tuesday as accepted according to the calendar of the Jews in the dominant community of Babylonia. Saadiah, the Jew from Egypt who was the greatest Gaon in the history of the Babylonian yeshivas, found himself in the middle of what threatened to be a major schism in the Jewish world. Little information exists on how the dispute was resolved. It seems that Saadiah and the Babylonians were the victors in the battle over the calendar. That this issue is still explosive centuries after the Jewish liturgical calendar had been fixed is a reflection of the power of who controls the setting of the calendar. Authority over the calendar meant ultimate authority over the Jewish people. (6)

The determination of the holidays in Jewish history exemplifies the plasticity of the Hebrew calendar. While today the Jewish liturgical calendar seems to be "set in stone," the reality is that the calendar has been marked by a certain amount of fluidity. The flexibility of the calendar in modem times, however, no longer centers on the setting of the holidays and Rosh Chodesh. The major issue Jews face in the 21st century is the incorporation of new holy days or commemorations into the liturgical calendar. This is not just a modem issue--rabbinic authority has mandated a slew of holy days and fasts not mentioned in the Torah: Hanukkah, Purim, Tisha B'Av, Lag Ba'Omer and others. Yet, in the past millennium, no new celebrations or commemorations have been added to the liturgical calendar. Of course, Yom Ha'Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Ha'Atzma'ut (Israel Independence Day), and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Re-unification Day) all appear on the Hebrew calendars that we display in our homes. But are these special days truly religious holidays and commemorations? Are they not mandated by the secular authority of the Israeli Knesset and not by rabbinic authority of the Sanhedrin? Are these days part of the calendar of all Jews? Are they truly universal for the Jewish people? These are critical questions we must ask if we are to determine whether the Jewish liturgical calendar can remain a flexible, living phenomenon that can adapt to change--or an inert, dead letter that does not reflect Jewish life as it is lived in our new millennium. I will focus in this essay on Yom Ha'Shoah, although I certainly have Israel Independence Day in mind, as well, when discussing this issue.

On April 12, 1951, the Parliament of the State of Israel passed a resolution proclaiming the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan as "the Holocaust and Ghetto Uprising Remembrance Day--a day of perpetual remembrance for the House of Israel." The Knesset chose that date because it falls between that of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (which began on the first day of Passover) and the Israel War of Independence Remembrance Day (on the fourth of Iyyar). Also, the day of commemorating the Holocaust falls in the traditional mourning of the counting of the Omer. In 1953, the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Law of Yad Vashem determined that one of the tasks of the Yad Vashem Authority was to inculcate in Israel and its people awareness of the day set aside by the Knesset as the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. On March 4, 1959, the Israeli parliament passed the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day Law, which determined that tribute to victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprising be paid in public observances. Two years later, an amendment to the law required that places of entertainment be closed on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The rabbinate in Israel has ruled the fast day of the Tenth of Tevet as a day on which Jews commemorate the Yortsayt of relatives, victims of the Holocaust, whose date of death is unknown, with prayer and study. (7)

If the Knesset mandated the 27th of Nissan as Yom Ha'Shoah, why did the rabbis in Israel need to mandate the fast of the Tenth of Tevet as a day of saying the Kaddish memorial prayer for the victims of the Holocaust? The Tevet fast is a day of mourning associated with the Babylonian and Roman destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in ancient times. Why is this day--a day that has nothing to do directly with the Shoah--mandated as a day to mourn the victims of the Holocaust? If Holocaust Remembrance Day is a public commemoration of the Nazi genocide of the Jews in World War II, why not fast and say Kaddish for the Shoah's victims on that day? These questions go to the heart of major issues that Jews face today regarding the religions and theological significance of the Shoah and the birth of the modern State of Israel. Do these watershed events in modern Jewish history have any significance to Judaism? If not, what does this say about Jewish traditions' ability to respond as a living faith to the burning issues and events of our time?

On the Ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av--Tisha B'Av--Jews the world over mourn in commemoration of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, the great centers of sacrifice destroyed by the enemies of the people Israel in ancient times. The Ninth of Av was the day, according to the rabbis, on which both great edifices were destroyed, the first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, the second Temple centuries later by the Romans in the year 70. On the eve of the day of mourning and fasting, religious Jews read the Book of Lamentations (Eichah), ascribed to the prophet Jeremiah who witnessed and experienced the destruction of the holy city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Lamentations is a moving dirge that memorializes a city abandoned by man and God. Modern Hebrew Bible scholars have debated Jeremiah's sole authorship of Lamentations. However, there is little doubt that the prophet inspired composite authorship of the work.

It really matters little to me, as a Religious Zionist, whether Jeremiah authored Lamentations or not. What does matter to me--I find it most disturbing--is the prophet's theology that serves as the foundation for Jewish mourning on the Ninth of Av. The traditional theology of Jewish Exile and Redemption, expressed by Jeremiah in the prophetic book in the Bible that bears his name, is that God manipulated the Babylonians to destroy the Temple in order to punish the people Israel for their sins. In Chapter 27 of Jeremiah, the prophet urges the denizens of Judah and King Zedekiah to "put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon" otherwise "you will die together with your people." In other words, the Babylonians are God's tool to chastise Israel. The prophet transforms the reality of geopolitics and the integrity of Judah's independence into a morality tale in which the Jews are to blame for their tragedy. Jeremiah's theology has served as the basis for traditional rabbinic views of Jewish suffering in history, whether it be the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, Jewish martyrdom in the Rhineland during the First Crusade, the Spanish Expulsion of the Jews in 1492, and the Chmielnicki massacres in Eastern Europe in the early modern period. After the Shoah, I would argue, this theology is a dead letter.

Today, most Jews--whether religious or secular--would never apply Jeremiah's theology to the Holocaust, the worst tragedy in Jewish history. A Jew who believes Hitler was a tool of God to destroy European Jewry for its sins is desecrating the memory of the dead and defaming them. Yet there are still Jews in the world who refuse to abandon the outmoded and ancient theology of Jeremiah. Rabbi Yoel Moshe Teitelbaum, the most influential Satmarer Rebbe, blamed the Zionist movement for the "calamity" of the Shoah. To me, this outrageous worldview indicates a serious denial of reality of the history of the Jewish people in the modern epoch. The Zionist pioneers who rejected the passivity of Europe's rabbis were "holy rebels" whose actions saved Jewish lives and provided an environment in which Jewish life and faith could flourish. The irony is that anti-traditional Zionist Socialists, overturning the theology of waiting for divine intervention through the coming of the messiah, provided a haven for the Jewish people's "saving remnant" and were the harbingers of the renaissance of both the Hebrew language and the study and propagation of Torah and Jewish faith.

In certain ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, the Shoah is remembered on either the minor fast day of the Tenth of Tevet or on the Ninth of Av, rather than on Yom Ha'Shoah. This practice places the Holocaust within the same theology as the other tragedies of Jewish history, the theology that Jews were exiled and persecuted because of their sins.

I would argue that the Holocaust is a series of events without precedent in Jewish history--the German attempt to wipe out every Jewish man, woman, and child has no predecessor in the chronicle of the Jews--and, therefore, we cannot commemorate the mass murder through the lens of traditional theology. The Shoah demands that we, as Jews, either find a new theology of covenant that takes into account the enormity of the disaster--or we completely relegate the Nazi genocide to the realm of the secular.

The Ninth of Av is not an appropriate day to remember the dead of Auschwitz, Babi Yar, and the Warsaw Ghetto. Religious Jews must find a way to create a theology for Yom Ha'Shoah that will transform a Knesset-mandated commemoration into a day of mourning with religious significance. The theology of Jeremiah and the rabbis--even a theology that confirms that a God Who punishes His people will also redeem them--does not fit the contours of modern historical reality. The State of Israel is not the demonic kingdom of Rabbi Teitelbaum, but neither is it a harbinger of the coming of the messiah. The old theological categories and terms do not take into account the Holocaust and the creation of a Jewish state in recent history. We, as Jews, must either discover a new religious template to address the unprecedented events of our time--or move beyond theology and abandon the attempt to place the Holocaust and the State of Israel within a religious framework. (8)

If Judaism is to be a living faith, it can neither address the Holocaust within the traditional Ninth of Av theology, nor can it abdicate the significance of the Shoah to the secular realm of the modern State of Israel alone. We, as Jews, must find a way to redefine the nature of the Sinai covenant so that it will be relevant and alive for our people in Israel and in the Diaspora in the 21st century. We must confront the watershed events of our time with both a Jewish theology and Jewish ritual practices.

The most convincing 21st-century Jewish theology is that of Irving "Yitz" Greenberg, an American modern Orthodox rabbi who provides a relevant and thought-provoking thesis for the post-Shoah world. The great Israeli historian of the Shoah, Yehuda Bauer, summarizes Greenberg's theology in this way:

A great contemporary Jewish thinker, Rabbi Irving "Yitz" Greenberg, has addressed the problem [of Holocaust theodicy] from a modern Orthodox perspective in an original and innovative way. Greenberg is confronted by the dilemma that if God is both just and all-powerful, the Holocaust is inexplicable in religious terms, because hiding his face does not prevent his knowing. If God is all-powerful and omniscient, he cannot be just, because by his own moral standards he should have prevented the Holocaust, which he did not do, and hiding his face cannot be his excuse; if he is just, he cannot be all-powerful, because if he were, he would have prevented the Holocaust. Greenberg feels he has to choose between these explanations, and he chooses the second: he rescues the idea of the Jewish God of justice and compassion and declares that God could not save the Jews because he is not, or is no longer, all-powerful. Whether he once was all-powerful is beside the point; clearly he is not so now. God, then, is a weak God, who needs the cooperation of humans to redress the ills of the world. This, by the way, is an old Jewish tradition: Man cooperates with God in bringing good to the universe. For Greenberg, the Holocaust has shaken the very basis of the Covenant between God and the Jews because it has called into question the existence of the Jewish people. The only way out is to redefine the Covenant to allow for a real partnership between the Jews and God, a partnership in which Jews are called upon to take a much more active role than they have up to now. This, as has been noted, is not a new idea in the Jewish tradition, and it could be viewed as another version of the "hiding the face" argument [proposed by Jewish thinker Eliezer Berkovits].

The problem with this explanation ... is that if God is weak, who needs him in moments of crisis and danger? What is the point of praying or observing the commandments? Are the Ten Commandments only ten suggestions, or are they--what a thought!--human precepts that can be approached merely from a human perspective? Greenberg, however, goes beyond these explications and argues that the Holocaust has shown up the essential brokenness of Judaism, Christianity and, indeed, nonreligious thought as well. This argument seems to reflect the kabbalistic concept of the broken vessels, that is, the idea that with the exile of the Jews, the exile of the Spirit of God (shekhinah) has taken place. In effect, the world itself is broken, and it is the task of Jews to gather the pieces of light from the hard crust of the material world and reconstruct a meaningful world. For Greenberg, the brokenness of the religious world should be a cause for a non-final approach to all ideologies, or, as he puts it, for a pluralistic openness to thought and action. One may believe what one believes, but one should not deny the possible validity of other, even opposing ideologies. This conclusion appears to represent a break in traditional Jewish thought, but not many Orthodox--or many other Jews--seem to follow Greenberg, at least so far. An acceptance of his ideas would go a long way toward healing heated intra-Jewish controversies and might even point the way toward a neutralization, though not a solution, of the theodicy problem. (9)

How does Greenberg's thesis of theodicy translate into a theology for Yom Ha'Shoah? As a remembrance mandated by the Knesset, Yom Ha'Shoah is a day to remember the horrific events of the Nazi genocide of the Jews-and of Jewish heroism in the camps, ghettos, and forests in terms of resistance. But on the religious plane, Yom Ha'Shoah is the day on which Jews mourn God's breaking of His Covenant with His people. The Teitelbaums and the Satmarer are wrong--it is not Jewish sins that brought on the destruction of six million Jews by the Nazis. It was God's weakness in a world in which humanity did not come to His aid that was the tragedy of the Holocaust. Had human beings done something concrete to stop the evil when it started--had they been co-partners with God in restoring the world through tikkun olam--millions of lives, both Jewish and non-Jewish would have been saved. Yom Ha'Shoah is more than a secular, national remembrance. It is a marking of a radical shift in the relationship between God and His people Israel--and between God and humanity. Irving Greenberg, in his own words, elaborates, on this idea:
   The language of the "broken covenant" is an attempt to
   draw attention to the heroic renewal of the covenant in
   our time, especially as expressed in the re-creation of the
   State of Israel and the decision of the Jews to renew Jewish
   life after the Holocaust. While terms such as "broken
   covenant" are upsetting to some people, these terms
   bespeak the enormous power of the covenant. The Jewish
   people showed love and faithfulness to the brit that far
   transcended any rational obligation.

May I add that talk about a covenant, broken and renewed, is in part a critique and challenge to those who would "uphold Judaism" and condemn the Jewish people in the name of God. To those who claim that the Jews are not observant enough, are not loyal enough, the answer is that the Jewish people deserves to be honored and celebrated in our lifetime for its faithfulness to God. The Jews could have argued that the covenant was broken, and walked away. They did not. They voluntarily stepped forward. Even secular Jews took upon themselves the task of realizing the covenant. (10)

The mourning of Yom Ha'Shoah is not the mourning of the Ninth of Av. On Tisha B'Av we fast to atone for our sins against God. But on Yom Ha'Shoah, we lament in bitter terms the failure of humanity to live "in the image of God" and to protect the sanctity of human life. On Yom Ha'Shoah, we mourn the Jewish people's traditional beliefs that may have worked for centuries in the Diaspora but over time failed miserably. On a theological plane, Holocaust Remembrance Day must mark our protest at the indifference of the world and the abandonment of our responsibilities as co-partners with God. We also all have the right to ask: Where was God? In the end, the theology of the Ninth of Av no longer works, and we, as Jews, cannot live with a "business-as-usual" worldview. While not in the purview of this paper but with Irving Greenberg in mind, I would argue for the theological significance of Israel Independence Day as not only a celebration of Jewish sovereignty. Yom Ha'Atzma'ut also marks the renewal of the covenant with God in terms of our taking responsibility for our own redemption, thus joining God in that holy task. It could be argued that the secular Zionists who founded the modem Jewish State were "holy rebels" who, by taking a stand of revolt against the religious stares quo, ironically carried out the will of God and God's people. I will argue that thesis in more detail elsewhere.

If Yom Ha'Shoah is to be a commemoration of religious significance to Jews, what are to be the rituals of the day? This is, of course, an important issue--I am writing this essay for a course in 'Jewish Practices." The liturgy and ritual can definitely not be the traditional rituals and their meaning based on the Ninth of Av model. The Tisha B'Av model is, as I have said previously, a "dead letter." We must search for new meaning in the mourning ritual and new texts. Here are a number of my proposals for Yom Ha'Shoah in terms of practices:

Fasting--Jews should not eat or drink on Yom Ha'Shoah. The fast should begin in the evening of the 27th of Nissan and end 25 hours later. The purpose of the fast is not to atone for the sins of the Jewish people that led to their punishment (the Ninth of Av theology). Rather, we fast to remember the terrible hunger pangs that wracked the Jews barely surviving in the ghettos and the concentration camps. As we remember the millions of Jews whom the Nazis murdered, enjoying ourselves in eating and drinking is not appropriate. We will never relive the suffering of those who experienced the horror of the Shoah. But we can make a symbolic gesture that makes a statement of unity regarding ourselves as survivors. Had the Nazis fully implemented the "Final Solution," we, as Jews, would not exist.

Torah Reading--a Torah scroll should be taken out of the ark in the morning and three aliyot should be read. The text is from Leviticus 9:22-10:7. The short passage deals with the deaths of Aaron's sons Nadav and Avihu, who are smote down by God for bring a "strange fire" into the Tent of Meeting. Yes, in this passage, God punishes the sons for their sin. But it is never clear how they sinned and they were doing so while serving God. Most importantly, Aaron is silent upon hearing the awful news. We too are silent when remembering the Jews whom the Nazis murdered only 65 years ago. There are no answers. Our reading of the Torah is our message that we will obey the Covenant, even if it is a broken one, and that we will move ahead to the Promised Land as the Israelites and Aaron did after these tragic deaths.

Evening reading--we do not read Lamentations on Yom Ha'Shoah. The text we read in the evening, when the fast starts, is from Job. We sit down on the floor and with candles read the last four chapters of the book. Just as Job demands to be confronted by God and have his travails explained, so do we. Just as Job's friends are excoriated for explaining Job's travails as a punishment for sin--so do we reject their explanation. The Shoah is "beyond belief' and beyond our understanding, but we are legitimate in demanding God's presence in the world after such a disaster. Job, despite his suffering, continues living and raising a new family, as did many Holocaust survivors after experiencing years of agony.

Evening piyutim--instead of the traditional Ninth of Av liturgical poetry, we read eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust by Elie Wiesel, Adam Czerniakow, Abba Kovner, and others. We read in order to come close to reliving the hell these Jews endured although we will never come close to doing so. But these readings connect us to the events of two generations ago and will live on long after all the survivors of the Shoah are gone.

These are the examples which come to mind for Holocaust Remembrance Day practice and liturgy. Again, we need to make sure the ritual is not simply a mimicking of the Ninth of Av mourning practices but a new response to events never experienced by the Jews on such a scale and ferocity before. The Holocaust and the State of Israel demand new religious responses--traditional theology will not do.

In conclusion, I must confess: This was not an easy essay to write. As an American Jew, I am a firm believer in the wall of separation between Church and State. By conferring onto Yom Ha'Shoah religious significance--albeit not traditional religious significance--I am blurring the line between politics and faith. The Knesset in Israel, not the Chief Rabbinate, mandated Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a Jewish state and a democracy, Israel walks a fine line between the two concepts. Sometimes, there is a blurring of the domains of religion and state. So I advocate religious significance for Yom Ha'Shoah with reservations.

Still, I protest the continued attempt to insert the Shoah into the same framework as the Ninth of Av and the Tenth of Tevet. Let Yoel Teitelbaum rant about the Holocaust being a punishment for Zionism's "breaking of the oaths." I cannot believe in a God Who ordained the murder of 1.5 million children under the age of 12. The demonization of Zionism by the Satmarer and Neturai Karta is an ethical and religious abomination. Rabbi Irving Greenberg presents a theology that provides some hope and healing--and far less arrogance in understanding God than do some segments of the ultra-Orthodox. In the end, we, as a people, cannot go on like nothing has happened in the past 200 years. If our faith is to be a living faith, it must respond to the challenges of our epoch, confront these challenges, and not shy away. The Torah may have been given to Israel at Sinai more than 3000 years ago, but each of us accepts it anew in every generation. Our Covenant, even one that is broken, is a Living Covenant. If it is not a living entity, it is dead and not worthy of our attention.


Bauer, Yehuda. Rethinking the Holocaust, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Editors, Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1st edition, Jerusalem: Keter Publishing, 1972.

Greenberg, Irving. Living in the Image of God: Jewish Teachings to Perfect the World, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

Kavon, Eli. "Tisha Be'Av in the Shadow of Auschwitz," The Jerusalem Post, August 14, 2008.

Neusner, Jacob and Alan J. Avery-Peck, editors. The Blackwell Reader in Judaism, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 2001.

Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text, Philadelphia: JPS, 1985.

VanderKam, James & Peter Flint. The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2002.


(1.) From Va-Yoel Moshe (1961) by Yoel Teitelbaum, cited in The Blackwell Reader in Judaism, p. 246.

(2.) From Living in the Image of God: Conversations with Rabbi Irving Greenberg (1998) p. 56.

(3.) Editors, Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, 1st ed., p. 486.

(4.) James VanderKam and Peter Flint, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 232.

(5.) Talmud Rosh Hodesh 2: 8-9--cited in The Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 7, p. 296.

(6.) The Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 14, pp. 544-45.

(7.) This paragraph based on "Holocaust Remembrance Day" entry in The Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 8, pp. 916-17.

(8.) This section is based on my essay "Tisha Be'Av in the Shadow of Auschwitz," in The Jerusalem Post, August 14, 2008. It states the main thesis of this paper succinctly--which is why I cite it.

(9.) Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, pp. 191-2.

(10.) Irving Greenberg interviewed by Shalom Freedman in Living in the Image of God., op. cit.

ELI KAVON is rabbi of Beth Ami Congregation in Boca Raton, Florida. He received his ordination from The Rabbinical Academy in Woodmere, New York. Eli studied Comparative Religion and History at Columbia University and earned a Master's degree in Jewish Studies in 2009 from the Spertus Institute in Chicago. He is on the faculty of The Lifelong Learning Institute in Davie, Florida and he is a regular contributor of essays to Midstream.
COPYRIGHT 2012 Theodor Herzl Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Shoah; Holocaust Remembrance Day
Author:Kavon, Eli
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Previous Article:My Struggle.
Next Article:The Holocaust and the Jews of Iraq.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters