The Faith and Doubt of Holocaust Survivors

Overview

The Faith and Doubt of Holocaust Survivors reveals the victims’ frank and thought-provoking answers to searching questions about their experiences: Was the Holocaust God’s will? Was there any meaning or purpose in the Holocaust? Was Israel worth the price six million had to pay? Did the experience in the death camps bring about an avowal of faith? A denial of God? A reaffirmation of religious belief? Did the Holocaust change beliefs about the coming of the Messiah, the Torah, ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $30.99   
  • New (8) from $30.99   
  • Used (1) from $58.52   
Sending request ...

Overview

The Faith and Doubt of Holocaust Survivors reveals the victims’ frank and thought-provoking answers to searching questions about their experiences: Was the Holocaust God’s will? Was there any meaning or purpose in the Holocaust? Was Israel worth the price six million had to pay? Did the experience in the death camps bring about an avowal of faith? A denial of God? A reaffirmation of religious belief? Did the Holocaust change beliefs about the coming of the Messiah, the Torah, the Jews as the chosen people, and the nature of God?

Drawing on the responses of seven hundred survivors, Reeve Robert Brenner reveals the changes, rejections, reaffirmations, doubts, and despairs that have so profoundly affected the faith, practices, ideas, and attitudes of survivors, and, by extension, the entire Jewish people.

Many survivors carried their deepest secrets and innermost beliefs silently, from internment to interment. But Brenner’s quest provided the impetus for many survivors to end their silence about the past and come forth with their feelings. In poignant vignettes scattered throughout the book, their answers to these profound questions are offered, disclosing ardent, overpowering passions and sensibilities.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Faith and Doubt of Holocaust Survivors. . . is an important book and not sufficiently known. . . . [I]t offers valuable testimony as to what the Holocaust did to the beliefs of the people who lived through it.”

Harold Kushner, Conservative Judaism

“An invaluable and long overdue contribution to Holocaust studies. Such personal testimony for survivors reminds us that despite the unspeakable horrors, human dignity and decency and faith were never fully stifled.”

Gerald Green, author of the TV drama Holocaust

“A sensitive study, carefully constructed and empirically based, that supplies substantial, balanced insight where before there were only opinions and surmise. The full range of the victims’ religious feeling is revealed, often in their own agonized reflections. Everyone concerned about contemporary religion, responses to catastrophe and the state of Jewish belief will want to read this book.”

Robert M. Selzer, author of Jewish People, Jewish Thought

"We are dealing here with an extraordinary achievement, an encyclopedic study which should prove to be one of the very few volumes with staying power and definitiveness to be worthy of a place on a reading and reference bookshelf in the libraries of generations of Jews to come. . . . Page after page, the book lifts the veil which reveals the Jewish innermost soul, the richness of the Jewish mind and character. . . among the most uplifting, spirited, and valuable books on a subject whose depth we are now beginning to explore."

Dr. Debora Phillips, Director of the Princeton Center For Behavior Therapy, Congress Monthly

"Brenner's personalized accounts, the data enhanced by the anecdotal material, provides new depth for understanding, greater than Rabinowitz's New Lives or Elie Wiesel's moving, quasimystical account of that time.

"He offers in this book a most important understanding of the changes that have occurred thus far. Sociologists and the general community will find this book enlightening."

Teresa Donati Marciano, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Sociology Review

"Rabbi Brenner's book is a rich footnote to Arendt and Orwell."

The Brooklyn College, Alumni Literary Review

"The author conceived and carried through his project with great skill. His judicious comments about his findings are enhanced by a sophisticated sense of the limitations of this sort of investigation. His balance of history, ideas, data, excerpts and interpretations is evocative and enlightening, resulting in a text which is, for this sort of work, even pleasurable reading."

Eugene Borowitz, Sh'ma Review

"The originality of the theme, the accuracy and vastness of the research--over 700 questionnaires and 100in-depth interviews and the eloquence of language-surely cast this as one of the important books to emerge from the ever-growing literature of the Holocaust."

Dr. David Kranzler, The Jewish Press

"This remarkably thoughtful and carefully researched study reports on the changes in religious belief and practice undergone by Holocaust survivors as a result of their ordeal. Most valuable are the personal testimonies of the survivors."

Arnold Eisen, Columbia University, Religious Studies Review

“[T]he single most important research study of 20th century Jews and Judaism.”

Alan Zuckerman, Brown University

“Brenner has gone to considerable lengths to interview Holocaust survivors about their religious reactions to their experience. . . . The information in this book is terribly important, for we must try to understand all the effects of the Holocaust before the generation that experienced it passes away.”

—Gailfred Boller Sweetland, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

“Rabbi Brenner’s goal is to discover ‘how surviving European Jews construed and interpreted their Holocaust experiences and how they were affected religiously, in their faith and practice, by what they had undergone.’ Many ‘experts,’ he argues, have spoken for the survivors, but until now no one has asked them, in a systematic way, how their encounter with radical evil affected their faith. . . . I applaud the fact that Rabbi Brenner restricted this book to the survey and its results. The temptation must have been great to use the questionnaire. . . as a springboard for his own theological speculations, but for now he has wisely kept to the role of researcher. In this way he has allowed the survivors to be the dominant voice in this volume.”

—Michael K. Kinnamon, The Journal of Religion

“I have nothing but unqualified praise for the stirring autobiographical survivor testimonies which he has judiciously selected and incorporated into the book. These personal accounts reveal the whole spectrum of religious reactions to the Holocaust.”

—Benny Kraut, Judaism

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412852975
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2014
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,117,590
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Reeve Robert Brenner is the tenured rabbi of Congregation Bet Chesed in Bethesda, MD, and has taught in universities, including St. Vincent’s College, where he was its first rabbi. Brenner’s American Jewry and the Rise of Nazism received a YIVO Jewish Scholarship Prize.

Reeve Robert Brenner is the tenured rabbi of Congregation Bet Chesed in Bethesda, MD, and has taught in universities, including St. Vincent’s College, where he was its first rabbi. Brenner’s American Jewry and the Rise of Nazism received a YIVO Jewish Scholarship Prize.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The Religious Behavior of Holocaust Survivors 25
3 The Faith of Holocaust Survivors 85
4 The Meaning of the Holocaust 126
5 Seven Theological Questions 203
Epilogue 248
An Afterword 257
Notes 260
Selected Bibliography 264
Index 267
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)