By Emil Fackenheim

Remark un juif de l’étude peut-il comprendre Auschwitz ? Quelle est l. a. position de l. a. Shoah dans l’histoire millénaire et souvent tragique d’Israël comme dans l’histoire du monde ? Emil Fackenheim – héritier de los angeles pensée de Franz Rosenzweig et de Martin Buber – interroge le Midrach, le Talmud ainsi que l. a. philosophie occidentale. Il montre que seule l. a. culture juive peut répondre à cette very unlikely query : malgré le mal, Dieu est-il présent dans l’histoire ? Cette étude courageuse va à los angeles resource métaphysique du judaïsme pour trouver le moyen de parler aujourd’hui de los angeles disaster d’Auschwitz.

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Obviously, thinkers of the caliber of Kook and Kaplan do not grow or function in vacuums. They are stimulated and conditioned by their spiritual and intellectual antecedents. They, in turn, motivate disciples and arouse critics. After the death of inspiring thinkers, their message is often beclouded by the interpretations given to them by supporters and critics alike. Hence, to comprehend the full range and impact of the philosophies of Kook and Kaplan, we have to trace their intellectual heritage and correct the many errors made by their followers and detractors.

Kaplan created his system to include the whole spectrum of Jewry, from the many free-thinkers on his left, whom tradition would exclude from the word-to-come, to those who stand to the right of Kook. This global inclusiveness is an innovation of the pluralist approach, namely, that the right to Jewish identity and participation in Jewish affairs must not be denied any Jew because of divergence from traditional beliefs or practices. Kaplan does not proclaim that all ideas and forms of behavior are of equal worth, but he argues that the determination of what is or is not of value should be made through debate and public opinion.

Nevertheless, it is preferable to continue the debate rather than to curtail it artificially by coercing one side or the other into surrender without conviction. Such a resolution can lead only to bitterness and further unrest. Kook made an important contribution to reasoned debate when he wrote, "[T]he pure and righteous do not complain about wickedness; they add to the measure of righteousness. They do not cry out against heresy; they increase faith. " 14 Page 15 I repeat. I do not pretend to be a neutral observer.

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