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By Alan L. Berger

Booklet by means of Berger, Alan L.

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Additional resources for Crisis and covenant: the Holocaust in American Jewish fiction

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American Judaism and the Holocaust The question of American Jewry's relationship to the Holocaust may be approached in terms of two contrary views. Arthur A. Cohen articulates the position that all Jews, whether or not physically present in the death camps, are survivors. Although the generation of the birth of Israel lacks direct experience of Hitler's kingdom of death, Cohen describes these Jews as the generation that bears the scar without the wound, sustaining memory without direct experience.

Although the generation of the birth of Israel lacks direct experience of Hitler's kingdom of death, Cohen describes these Jews as the generation that bears the scar without the wound, sustaining memory without direct experience. 21 The Holocaust for American Jews, argues Neusner, is an ethnic identifier, not psychologically decisive, and misleads Jews away from their religious role. Neusner is correct in warning that the Holocaust should not become a surrogate for American Jewry's attempts to express itself Jewishly in a creative way.

It is an elaboration of the most terrible of Jewish fearsthat the eternal people is not eternal, that the chosen people is rejected, that the Jewish people is mortal. If there is one incontestable article of the Jewish unconscious, it has been the mythos of indestructibility and the moral obligation of tenacity. Six years, nonetheless, nearly concluded three millennia of endurance. Is it a wonder that Jews should regard the tremendum as a caesural fissure that acquires with each decade a more and more profound meta-historical station as the counter-event of Jewish history, the source of its revisionist reconsideration and self-appraisal.

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