Some eighty years ago, the German-Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen declared, “The Jewish people do not need a state of their own. Nor may they have one, for a state is particularistic, and conflicts with the Jewish messianic mission, which is universal.”
Cohen was both a good philosopher and a good Jew; yet today no good Jew and few good philosophers would agree with this statement. What is missing here is the timing . The place in which Cohen made his statement is troubling: Wilhelminian Germany. And positively ominous is the time of it: just before or during the Great War. For had Cohen been a lot younger, and a lieutenant in the Kaiser’s army, he might have had serving under him a corporal by the name of Adolf Hitler. Everything depends upon the timing.
Let us move on some twenty-five years. In Jewish history this is not much, and in world history it hardly counts at all.
The time is now 1939, after the Munich pact and Kristallnacht, during which throughout Germany and Austria synagogues were set on fire, Jewish stores smashed and looted, and Jews themselves carted off to concentration camps.
The place is a boat, the St. Louis , in the middle of the Atlantic loaded with German and Austrian Jews fleeing for their lives. The refugees were carrying Cuban visas, but on the boat’s arrival in Cuba, these had not been honored, for the consul in Germany had issued invalid or phony ones. What had next taken place was a frantic search, so characteristic of the time, for some country, any country, that would give these refugees a haven. Telegrams had been sent, phone calls made, all across the huge continent of America. Wasn’t there any country that would take those nine hundred men, women, and children?
There had not been. Instead the unbelievable was now happening: the captain had to turn his boat back, moving ever so slowly in the hope that rescue might yet come from somewhere. Later it would be said that the captain would have done what for a seaman is unthinkable, wreck his ship, rather than take his human cargo back to Germany, where what awaited them was a concentration camp or death. In the end, the refugees were all taken in, the lucky ones by Great Britain, the others by European countries where they would later be caught and murdered by the German invaders.
A movie of some years ago, Voyage of the Damned , captured this episode truthfully, which is to say that it was all black and white, good and evil. The Jewish victims, if not that good, were in any case innocent. The other side was pure evil. The critics panned the movie. It seems that good and evil does not make for suitably sophisticated drama. That, however, happened to be the way it was.
My wife and I saw the movie in a Toronto suburb where few Jews live, and that night the audience was mostly kids. The critics may have been bored, but the kids were fascinated. In my experience most kids have an innate sense of decency. At the movie’s end, there silently flashed on the screen the names of each of the Jews on the St. Louis and what happened to them. When the names of ones who were saved appeared there was applause. When one of the Nazis, hit by a falling beam during an air raid, was listed as killed, again there was applause. Finally, we were told about the fate of the captain: after the war he was investigated by de-Nazifiers, but was let off when some of the Jews from the St. Louis testified in his behalf. At this point, it was I who led the applause.
The movie showed a good deal, but it did not show everything. A Jewish leader named Nahum Goldmann had gone to see Cordell Hull, the U.S. Secretary of State, to plead with him on behalf of the nine hundred. Hull replied that his duty was to guard U.S. immigration laws. Goldmann then wondered aloud what would happen if, with their ship anchored just outside the Statue of Liberty, these people were to jump overboard. Surely, Goldmann speculated, they could not be left to drown. Surely they would be picked up. They could then be interned on Ellis Island, but at least they would be safe. To which Hull replied that Goldmann was the most cynical man he had ever met.
Canada had no immigration laws, only mostly secret practices mostly administered by one Frederick Blair. In his diary Blair relates how three leading Jews came to plead with him on behalf of the passengers on the St. Louis . Blair writes that he advised the three to gather in a synagogue and meditate on the question of why Jews were so universally disliked.
In light of the foregoing, there are two things to be said in response to Hermann Cohen: one, the Jews do need, if not a state, then at least a haven; and two, whatever the Jewish messianic mission might be, no one seems to want it.
Let us move on, just three to five years-Jewish history, along with world history, moved fast in those years. The following is the record of the testimony given by a Polish guard at the Nuremberg trial.
Witness : Women carrying children were always sent with them to the crematorium. The children were then torn from their parents outside the crematorium and sent to the gas chambers separately. When the extermination of the Jews in the gas chambers was at its height orders were issued that the children were to be thrown into the crematorium furnaces or into the pit near the crematorium, without being gassed first.
Smirnov ( Russian prosecutor ): How am I to understand this? Did they throw them into the fire alive, or did they kill them first?
Witness: They threw them in alive. Their screams could be heard in the camp.
Smirnov: Why did they do this?
Witness: It is difficult to say. We do not know whether they wanted to economize on gas, or whether it was because there was not enough room in the gas chambers.
Now the two conclusions reached above become even more precise: first, whatever the Jewish messianic mission might be, it cannot be this, that our children are to be thrown into the fires alive, so that their screams are heard, far away; and second, what is needed is, quite simply, a Jewish state.
In thinking about the second conclusion, let us conduct an experiment in historical imagination. Suppose that the captain of the St. Louis has turned away from America and is heading back to Europe, as slowly as the engines permit. He hears a news item on the radio: a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine. He shouts to the engine room, “Change course, and full steam ahead!” The news spreads to the hapless refugees and, hapless no more, they sing and dance without letup until the blessed coast comes into sight, and with it, thousands of people waiting on the beach to welcome and celebrate them-those nine hundred whom the world has despised and rejected. A messianic moment lights up a world of darkness-indeed, the darkest ever.
Why were the railways to Auschwitz never bombed? No one knew what was happening there? But people did. It was not feasible? But a factory only a few miles away was bombed. Had there been a Jewish state, armed with ten rickety planes, they would have done it, or perished in the attempt.
I try to imagine myself inside one of the boxcars in which the Jews were transported to their fate, but cannot. I do know this for certain, however: the despair inside those cars is being made complete by the realization of utter abandonment-was there ever an abandonment like unto this? Suddenly there is a roar of bombs exploding all around. The fear that one might hit the train and kill them grips those inside. Even so, what may be their last moment on earth is lit by a messianic spark: someone has seen, and cares.
Messianic moments, then, need not be altogether absent from the world of the Holocaust-at least in the historical imagination. But the truly astounding fact is that such moments were not wholly absent from the Holocaust as it actually was. At Treblinka, as group after group was marched off to be murdered, a certain Rabbi Israel Shapiro of the town of Grodinsk was asked by his flock for some words. This is what he said: Some rabbis of old forbade calculating the End, on the grounds that the time of it was a mystery, but also expressed the wish not to be there when it happened, since the sufferings that went with it would be too terrible. But, Shapiro went on to ask, what sufferings could be more terrible than these? This, then, must be the End and rather than wish not to be here, we should accept its sufferings and rejoice in the privilege they contain, for our ashes will purify Israel and the world.
Among the religious, then, Rabbi Shapiro considered his fate blessed and chosen. But so, among the secularists, did Mordecai Anielewitz, the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, who fought and died in it. “Blessed and chosen” are the words he used in his last letter. The uprising was hopeless; never was an undertaking more so. Then why “blessed”? He had seen the birth of the Jewish resistance. This he had written, and Yitzhak Zuckerman, who survived, explained what he had meant. “Why did we fight, when our uprising was doomed? We did it for future Jewish generations.”
We listen to Rabbi Shapiro and his martyrs on the one hand, and Mordecai Anielewitz and his heroes on the other-and if any faith, hope, and humanity is left in us after the Holocaust, it is because of such as these: if only God and man would listen, the messianic redemption would come at once.
Again we move on but a few years. The place is Tel Aviv, Israel. The time, 1948, after the State of Israel, proclaimed on May 14, has fought off six invading Arab armies. Ben Gurion and Chief Rabbi Herzog are reviewing the returning soldiers, among them Holocaust survivors who, not much earlier, had been near-skeletons. Ben Gurion, who likes to tease the religious, turns to the rabbi and, pointing at the soldiers, observes that they had managed without miracles. “You do not understand,” replied Herzog. “These are the miracle.”
The miraculous, nay, messianic, aspect of the founding of the Jewish state is articulated in a prayer written at the behest of Chief Rabbi Maimon and now widely in use, in the Diaspora as well as in Israel. In this prayer the state is referred to as reshit tzemichat geulatenu , “the beginning of the growth of the [messianic] redemption.”
The prayer-in any case controversial if only because it identifies a fact empirically actual as messianic, and a political one to boot-has been criticized as the result of a dilettantish mixing of two metaphors, “the beginning” of the redemption and “the growth” of it. As it happens, the poet Shmuel Yosef Agnon, no dilettante, had a share in this formulation. But the state is the “beginning” of the redemption-not more than that-and the “growth” that is needed is not something gradual and smooth, let alone automatic, but rather precarious and not without grave reverses. Is the “beginning”-that is, the state itself-also to be subject to reverses or even the threat of one great catastrophic reversal? To avert this threat is, on the part of the “religious,” the core of prayer to the Divine, and, on the part of the “nonreligious,” the core of commitment to action. But to avert threats to the state is an imperative that extends beyond Israelis to Jews everywhere. There is much depressing evidence that this imperative is one that can be evaded; but once honestly faced, it brooks no compromise. What if, after the Holocaust, no Jewish state had arisen? What we nowadays witness in the way of self-hatred, identity crises, assimilation, childlessness, and other forms of Jewish loss of faith would pale in comparison. And, to go further, what if the Jewish state, having arisen, were destroyed? No result is conceivable other than that Jewish faith and morale, and the Jews themselves-all shaken by the Holocaust, whether they know it or not-would dissolve in terminal despair. The final solution aimed at by Hitler would be complete.
One cannot speak of a Zionist imperative, or at any rate not of this kind of unconditional and universal one, for the time prior to the Holocaust. The closest thing to it is expressed in a vote taken at the World Zionist Congress of 1905. At Easter of 1903 forty-nine Jews had been murdered in a pogrom in the city of Kishinev. It was imperative that Jews in Eastern Europe be rescued speedily, and the Congress considered replacing its far-off goal of reclaiming Palestine as the Jewish homeland with a tract of land in Uganda that was at that moment being offered for immediate possession by the British government. But the Ugandan alternative was voted down, including by the delegates from Kishinev: theirs was the most authoritative vote.
Even so, a Jewish homeland in Palestine lacked the force of an imperative, or at any rate of an unconditional and universal one. Even Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism (who died after the Uganda offer was made but before the Congress voted on it), had been prepared to consider the alternative.
So things stood before the Holocaust. How was it after, and indeed how has it been ever since? On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution partitioning Palestine and endorsing a Jewish state in one of the two parts. But, in the absence of plans for enforcement, and with Arab violence already erupting and worse sure to come after the British withdrawal, U.S. delegate Warren Austin rose in the General Assembly on March 18, 1948 to propose that implementation be postponed in favor of a UN trusteeship over all of Palestine. U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, no mean military expert, advised the leaders of the Jewish community of Palestine to accept the proposal, that is, to refrain from proclaiming their state, lest it be strangled at birth by superior Arab forces. But David Ben Gurion, supported by the other seven men and one woman who were charged with the decision, accepted the advice of the World Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann rather than that of the American general. “Declare the state,” Weizmann advised from his sickbed in New York, “now or never.” And on May 14, 1948, Ben Gurion proclaimed the first Jewish state in 1,813 years. The people danced that day in the streets of Tel Aviv (as did Jews in the streets of New York).
To heed Weizmann’s rather than Marshall’s advice was to obey an imperative that brooked no compromise and was universal-that is, for the Jews of Israel to act on and for Jews elsewhere to support. For twelve years the Jewish people had found the world divided between relentless enemies and feeble friends. For twelve years the Jewish people had been an object, powerless to be an agent in its own behalf, unable to act as a subject. After this, were the Jews of Palestine to consent to being shut up in a Palestinian ghetto, still at the mercy of enemies and lukewarm friends? Were Jewish refugees, wherever they were, once again to look, cap in hand, for some nice country to take them, hoping that there would be one, fearing that there would not? Were Jews both in Palestine and the Diaspora to place all their trust in a world conscience that had just failed so disastrously? To yield to any of this would have been blasphemy against the murdered millions and, indeed, against the God of Israel.
Obedience to this first unconditional imperative soon led to a second. In 1950 the Knesset passed three laws. The first abolished the death penalty. The second instituted the death penalty for crimes of the Holocaust exclusively. The third was the Law of Return.
Between them, the first two of these laws define the state, on the one hand, as humane and, on the other, as post-Holocaust. To this day no Arab terrorist, however heinous his crimes, has been put to death by an Israeli court; yet in 1961 the death penalty was meted out to Adolf Eichmann, after law had taken its course by the highest of standards.
The third law, the Law of Return, is post-Holocaust and Jewish at once. The laws of every other state make would-be immigrants show cause why they should be admitted. The Law of Return makes the Jewish state itself show cause why Jewish immigrants should not be admitted. Since the passage of this law, there still is Jewish exile, but there are no longer Jewish refugees. For a Jewish state, the Law of Return was a Jewish necessity; and because of the Holocaust, the passing of it could not be postponed for even one year. As early as 1950, it posed risks for the young state, and its consequences were unforeseeable. It was a large event in the “growth of the redemption.”
Which takes us to June 7, 1967, the third day of the Six-Day War. On that day, Israeli troops returned to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, after having been forced out of the ancient part of the city by the Jordanian army in 1948. For Jews worldwide it was an event of destiny and arguably the most profound Jewish religious experience since the beginning of the second exile.
Jews remember a previous return. The ten tribes exiled to Assyria were “lost” and had never returned. But what did occur was the return to Jerusalem of the two surviving tribes that were later exiled to Babylonia. This first return changed Jewish life, faith, history. It also did much to change the world. After all, between them, Christians and Muslims share large parts of the globe, and without the Jewish return to Jerusalem neither Christianity nor Islam-“daughter religions” of Judaism as they are sometimes called-would have come into being.
And now, on June 7, 1967, there was a second Jewish return to Jerusalem. But for the Six-Day War, it would not have happened, nor would it if Jordan, as urged by Israel, had stayed out of that war. The return was thus unexpected. Yet within three weeks Israel passed a law making Jerusalem the capital of the state, forever to remain undivided, forever to remain Jewish.
So quick and firm a decision would not have been taken had it not been understood as the imperative of a historic moment. A Zionism of longing and prayer, born in the first exile, had been deep and strong enough to be renewed in the second; and-this is an astonishing fact, inexplicable by ordinary reason-neither the length nor the many-sided experiences of that second exile caused Jews to forget Jerusalem. Without the centuries-long religious Zionism of “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning,” its modern-secular successor would never have had a chance. Because of Zion the secular Zionism of action could live, grow, stay alive, even when Jerusalem was only a longed-for dream. It could live and grow, and it did. However, to have reached Jerusalem and be made to leave it again-that would be the death of Zionism. Today, this much is clear: with its decision in 1967 to make Jerusalem its capital, Israel was obeying the last great Zionist imperative rising from the Holocaust-as unconditional and universal as the other three. Zionism stands on four pillars: the Land, the State, the Law of Return, and Jerusalem. If any one of these pillars were to collapse, so would the entire edifice.
So we arrive at today. On August 20, 1993 the Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO, hitherto supersecret, was revealed to the world. Enemies of Israel were surprised along with its friends. Not least, the Israelis themselves were surprised-none, certainly no dissenters, had been informed-and so were Jews everywhere. And then, on September 13, came the Washington handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat, televised to the four corners of the world. It is little wonder that Zionists are in search of a new imperative for today, one that will be as compelling and universal as the earlier ones.
But what imperative? At one extreme, there are Jews who seem to hear flutterings of the messianic dove, afraid only that “peace-wreckers” may drive it away. At the other extreme there are those who fear that catastrophe may overtake redemption, that the state itself, the very “beginning of the growth” of that redemption, has been placed in jeopardy.
In the Winter 1993 issue of Reform Judaism two writers respond to the Oslo agreement. One, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, is President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The other, Albert Vorspan, is director, recently retired, of the UAHC’s Social Action Center in Washington. Neither man, to be sure, writes officially on behalf of the organization, to say nothing of individual members of it. On the other hand, neither writes, nor can be read, simply as a private citizen.
Rabbi Schindler asserts that “Israel’s defense forces constitute the fourth most powerful military force in the world today,” that the security risk in the Oslo agreement, “such as it is,” is “hardly inordinate,” since, “when the lion lies down with the lamb, it is the lamb, not the lion, who lies down anxiously.” Critics of the agreement, therefore-whoever they are and whatever their criticism-are one and all “wreckers of the peace,” or at best “doubters” who will do harm unless “countered.”
Is Israel the world’s fourth strongest military force? Not that one has ever heard except from the country’s enemies, who are bent on weakening and, if possible, disarming, the state. Even if it were true, when has Israel ever been threatened or attacked by one Arab state alone? What, then, of future threats? At least three Arab anti-Israel alliances can easily be imagined, all potentially lethal. As for the Palestinians being the “lambs” in the agreement, what of the Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Saudis, and others, all able to turn them into lions?
Rabbi Schindler belittles the dangers far more than the Israeli government whose initiative he supports. This is because he dreams what he calls “great dreams”:
It [the moment of the Oslo agreement revelation, or of the handshake] allowed us to dream great dreams-of Israel as the Hong Kong of a new Middle East, of Jews and Palestinians joining forces to build it, to create a united continent of great tolerance and real freedom, of science, of education and understanding.
A united continent ? Traditional Jews may be forgiven if they view their own messianic dream-of which, note well, divine intervention is an indispensable part-as a model of realism in comparison.
Is this Jewish dream, like so many others, an innocent one? Not when the situation calls for Jews to be wide-awake. In its brief history the Jewish state has more than once had to make life-or-death decisions, and the Oslo agreement, whether necessary or not, is one of them. But whereas on all previous occasions the Israelis were united, this is the first life-or-death decision that has disenfranchised half the population (give or take 10 or 20 percent-who on so grave a matter is counting?), leaving it voiceless.
Given the long-standing split in the Israeli electorate as to how to act in the peace process, did the Rabin government, in order to act at all, have to act as it did? This is arguable, but no argument can be offered in support of Schindler’s dreams inspired by the Oslo agreement that should cause him to dismiss out of hand the fears aroused by it. In Israel at present, there are some who hope, and have reason to hope, that the agreement will lead to peace; there are others who fear, and have reason to fear, that it will lead to war. The accord has widened the split in the Israeli electorate gravely, not to say catastrophically, and it is no accident that the government dare not test it through an election.
In this situation, surely no Jewish effort should be spared to narrow the split; yet whether he realizes it or not, precisely at just this moment Schindler’s dreams widen that split still further, for they define all opponents of the Oslo agreement, seekers after peace though they may be, as the “enemies of peace.” Left voiceless, they are already injured. Wittingly or not, Schindler adds insult to injury.
Al Vorspan’s dreams are much the same as Schindler’s, except that they are more extreme still, for in his view nothing less than “magic” is at work in the “transformation” that is underway. Correspondingly, his view of the “wreckers, Arab and Israeli,” too, is harsher. Maximally they are “fanatical,” and even minimally they are “fear-mongers and cynics”: “Since the end of the Second World War, we have been yoked to the memory of the Holocaust, the endless hostile siege of Israel, and the tragic plight of Soviet Jewry.” Yoked to the memory of the Holocaust- that is what he writes-and he goes on as follows: “Whether we like it or not, the statute of limitations is running out on the Holocaust.” Perhaps, then, he will heave a sigh of relief when the last survivor is dead.
For nearly half a century survivors have written, spoken, screamed, whispered that Auschwitz is a “planet” in its own right, a horror unlike any other, but never to be forgotten. For decades professors have laid their careers, and Israel its legislation, on the line in witness to the truth that there is no statute of limitation for the Holocaust crime, that if Adolf Eichmann were in hiding still, and lived for the thousand years that the Third Reich was supposed to continue, a future court would still have to hunt him down and bring him to justice. There is simply no statute of limitations here, not for the criminals and not for their victims, for the mitzvah to remember them, the k’doshim , the “holy ones.” The very formulation of Vorspan’s statement is offensive.
In any case, the statement is both wrongheaded and evidently false. Jews can stop being “yoked” to the Holocaust? Not if-to choose an example at random, whatever it means-the success of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List indicates anything. Not-to turn to another example, this one ominous-if the zeal of Holocaust deniers is any proof. A race is on that may well last for several centuries, and that will end in one of two possible ways. Either the Holocaust will be recognized for what it was, by theologians and philosophers, by Jews, Christians, Germans, Arabs, humanity. Or else it will be distorted into something other than it was, or even denied altogether.
The race has long been on. Israel fared well in 1950, when it distinguished in law between other crimes and the Holocaust, and again in 1961, in the way it tried Eichmann. But that was a long time ago. How do we fare now, after the Oslo agreement and Hebron massacre? Al Vorspan’s is one reaction to the Oslo agreement, Baruch Goldstein’s is another. The two are far apart, and may even be viewed as opposites; but in at least one respect the opposites meet. If the statute of limitations is running out on Vorspan’s Holocaust, it is because he trivializes it into but another of the world’s “pathologies and demonologies,” to be “cast off” as soon as possible; and if Goldstein-a religious Jew and a doctor, and thus doubly under orders to hold human life sacred-becomes a mass murderer, it is because he makes every enemy into a Holocaust criminal, and a Muslim worship service in Hebron into a stormtrooper rally in worship of Hitler. For the one, nobody is an Auschwitz murderer, for the other, every enemy of Jews is . So hard is it for these men, in this nerve-wracking moment in Jewish history, to come to terms with the Holocaust. So hard is it, let it be added, for us all.
For to Jews the Holocaust is not an event to read about in a few books, or to remember on a few special occasions; it is for them to confront, to agonize over, to reject and resist, to search deeply and widely for a glimmer of hope-all this with a view to a Jewish self-understanding, of which an essential part is being heir of the murdered millions, the remnant of the catastrophe. This remnant has wrested a Jewish state from the catastrophe and despair, but the state has been under siege since the day of its birth.
The greatest man of this century-when his country was besieged-inspired it, united it, and kept it inspired and united under siege for a year. But not even Winston Churchill could have kept his people inspired for a siege lasting over forty years, or kept them from fighting among themselves. No wonder that in the siege of Israel, as yet far from over, some Jews behave as though the enemy was other Jews. And it is also no wonder that the besieged are weary.
But a new Zionist imperative is gradually becoming manifest in the present, post-Oslo, post-handshake situation: it is to fight off weariness and gather strength; it is to wake up from dreams and to stay wide-awake; and it is, above all, to rally in unison in support and defense of the pillars of Zionism, not one of them as yet fully secure. The Land is secure? But Hamas and like-minded others still seek their kind of peace-the Jewish departure from Palestine. The State is secure? But the PLO Covenant still calls for its destruction: no steps have been taken to abrogate or even amend it. (A PLO member declares that to abrogate the charter would be like for Jews to abrogate the Bible.) Is the Law of Return secure? But water shortages, combined with returning Palestinians, could make it inoperative. Jerusalem? An accommodation might be found, in the end might even become imperative, but not so long as demands for a share in the city must be viewed as attacks on Zion. The Jewish return to Jerusalem, the crucial event of destiny in two millennia of Jewish history for the “religious” and the “nonreligious” alike, has yet to be accepted, with the fullness it both requires and merits, by the world.
Once Hermann Cohen found a Jewish state, which is particular, incompatible with the Jewish messianic mission, which is universal. But that was in another period, and everything, as we have said, depends on the timing. Then came the time of an imperative to declare a Jewish state as itself the redemption, the beginning of the growth of it. The Jewish state is particular-but is it at war with messianic universalism?
The question has been present ever since the second Jewish return to Jerusalem, on June 7, 1967. Neither Christianity nor Islam would have come into being without the first return: it was a light unto them and a blessing. What if the same were in the making with the second return? Perhaps a state in the “growth of redemption” yet to come is for Christian and Muslim to worship in Jerusalem, not despite the fact that the Jews have returned but because of it.
This experience for Christians, Muslims, and Jews themselves, if it ever comes, lies in the future. Already a part of the past is the Jewish return itself. Of this experience Abraham Joshua Heschel has written:
I did not enter on my own the city of Jerusalem. Streams of endless craving, clinging, dreaming, flowing day and night, midnights, years, decades, centuries, millennia, streams of tears, of pledging, of waitings-from all over the world, from all corners of the world-carried us of this generation to the Wall.
Emil L. Fackenheim, the distinguished theologian and philosopher, is a Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has written extensively about religious responses to the Holocaust in such works as To Mend the World: Foundations of Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought, God’s Presence in History, and The Jewish Return to History . His latest book, a collection of essays entitled Jewish Philosophers and Jewish Philosophy , will be published by Indiana University Press later this year.