The Holocaust Or Shoah: Analysis

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The Torah alliance created a society radically different in many ways from other societies of the time. On the one hand, the law was absolute: not only were the heads of the people subject to it, but even God Himself was bound by the covenant of the law. Each child had to be educated in law. Equality before the law put all citizens on an equal footing. In addition, all members of society would become responsible for the welfare of others. And God was seen as accessible to all who invoked, especially the oppressed.

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This alliance has never been closed. Anyone who accepts all of its requirements before an established Jewish court is considered a Jew. But you don’t have to be a Jew to be a good person. Noah’s covenant, which was executed before Abraham, is a set of common civil laws for all of humanity. Anyone who respects esteem to be a just and virtuous person. Anyone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish regardless of their religious beliefs or involvement. A person can also become Jewish by conversion under the auspices of a recognized rabbinical court. The conversion process includes the unconditional acceptance to observe mitzvahs, immersion in a mikveh (ritual water basin) and circumcision (for men). Judaism does not believe in proselytizing non-Jews or encouraging others to become Jews. Each human being (in fact, each creature) participates in the great choir of life. However, Judaism has a message to all people: live a moral, just and pious life, as stated in the 7 Noa’hides Laws: recognize Gd and not worship idols; not to commit murder; not commit adultery; not eat the member of a living animal (or torture the creatures of God); do not blaspheme; not steal; and respect the rule of law. Any non-Jew who follows these guidelines is rewarded in the Future World. The idea of ​​the Chosen People: a nation of individuals who were given the opportunity to feel the closeness of God, to hear His truth and to relay His message to the rest of the world. Everyone agrees that it was the Jews who introduced monotheism to the world, as well as a system of ethical and moral values, that shaped the modern vision of life and its purpose.

The destruction of the Second Temple is one of the most significant events in the history of the Jewish people, and certainly one of the most appalling. The country was no longer under Jewish authority, but it had not been anyway since the Hasmonean era. It is true that the Temple, center of worship celebrated by the Jews and symbol of the exceptional bond which connected them with a single God, was no longer. But Judaism – with all its specific system of values ​​- had remained full of life. The rabbis worked out the legal and spiritual infrastructure which would allow the Jewish people to survive although it was deprived of most of the normative institutions which formed the backbone of Judaism: the Temple and its service, the priesthood, the monarchy. It was there that the rabbis institutionalized public prayer as a replacement for temple service, and made the synagogue the center of Jewish community life. Most importantly, this is where the rabbis found to ensure the survival of Judaism in all Jewish homes. Prayer, whether recited in the Temple, the synagogue, or any other place, has always occupied a prominent place within Judaism. A Temple would undoubtedly modify the liturgy, but it could not replace the synagogue, that is to say that quorum of ten Jews which, according to tradition, is enough to reside the divine presence in the room.

Maimonides is both a scholar and a community leader. His thought rests on the affirmation of the concordance between faith and reason. He represents the greatest intellectual figure of medieval Mediterranean Judaism. Maimonides is a true spiritual guide for his own generation as for the following generations. The rigor he imposed on himself contrasted with the admirable tolerance he displayed towards others. He therefore undertakes an exhaustive codification of the Jewish written and oral tradition, based both on the Torah (the first five books of the Bible or Pentateuch for Christians) and on all the comments and exegesis which relate to it in going back to Moses. Maimonides’ concern was to add his interpretation and his personal views after putting some order into it. Maimonides makes a distinction between the fundamental laws revealed to Moses (namely the written Torah but also the kabbalah, that is to say the immediate instructions revealed jointly during the Sinaitic Revelation and then transmitted by oral tradition) and customary law with its various adaptation measures which are properly rabbinical. If the first part is immutable, the second is variable. The latter is the result of human decision but insofar as it is the Torah itself which provides for this rogatory and derogatory power, human accommodations and amendments receive full legitimacy. Just as Jewish practice is received through an ancient and unbroken tradition since the revelation at Sinai, so is its soul.

Kabbalah is therefore the wisdom received, theology and cosmology native to Judaism.The goal of Kabbalah is not serenity. Neither transcendental enlightenment. It also brings them, but as means and not as goals. The goal of Kabbalah is inspired action. Whatever wisdom the Kabbalist acquires, no matter what state of ecstasy or mystical union he rises in, the end result will always be an act of beauty in the physical world. The kabbalist sees in each occurrence of reality not his palpable and defined presence, but a divine energy which sustains all existence, always new just like the water of the rapids is renewed at each instant, generating and regenerating every detail of creation to starting from absolute emptiness, conferring on each thing its own qualities and its vital force, each situation of existence according to its particular modality. And within this dynamic of creation, the kabbalist sees God Himself.

The Holocaust (also known as the Shoah) is the systematic persecution and assassination of 6 million Jews, organized by the Nazi state and its collaborators from 1933 to 1945. If I was a Holocaust survivor I would believe that pain is manageable when you understand that there are good reasons to suffer. Pain is unmanageable when it seems to be random and unjustified. If we understand why we are suffering, or even if we could logically assume that there is a reason beyond our comprehension, that would not make us suffer as much, and God wants us to cry out to Him from the bottom of our hearts. I would believe in with perfect faith that God is kind and good and that everything he does is kindness. I would remain firmly attached to the belief that he is just and loving.

The word Zionism designates both an ideology and a political movement, born in Europe in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The fundamental objective of this doctrine and this movement is the reconstitution of a Jewish nation, forming a political body aiming at the creation of a sovereign state in the Land of Israel. The term comes from the word ‘Zion’ which, since the destruction of the first Temple, designates Jerusalem. More generally, Zion evokes the permanent aspiration of the Jewish people, exiled far from their historic cradle and dispersed among the nations, to return one day to their land, the Land of Israel. Theodor Herzl is considered the father of political Zionism. It was he who really favored the development of the Jewish nationalist current at the end of the 19th century. Herzl’s solution was the establishment of an

internationally recognized Jewish state, either in Palestine or Argentina.  

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