Persuasive Essay: The Holocaust

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My reaction to the Holocaust was devastating. It is one example of bad
things happening to good people. The mass murdering of so many Jews is
just disgusting and also because it was done for basically no reason.
As this was a true event many sources or witnesses are available to
express their views, feelings and emotions of themselves and those who
survived this terrible tragedy.

I will demonstrate examples of Jews who have survived what they have
been through and what they think about God. It is really hard to go
through all of this and still believe that God exists. The holocaust
should not change our theology on God. It is said to be that the
Holocaust was a temporary "Eclipse of God".[1] This is supposed to be
when God is away from earth beyond any reason or explanation. People
trying to respond to this problem of believing that there is a God
after witnessing the terrible event have either succeeded or failed. I
will introduce three people who have survived the Holocaust and have
tried responding to this problem. The three people included are Primo
Levi, Richard Rubenstein and Emil Fackenheim.

I think a big impact on the life of Jews would be their belief in God
because many of them have tried responding to this problem and have
changed the ways in which they think about him, their views on how
good or powerful he is, how they express him and why they still
believe in him. I will introduce the problem of evil to the Jews that
have survived the Holocaust and their problems of belief. I will also
say which of the three Jews the most are convincing to me. The
holocaust presents a problem for the Jews and changes their belief in
God because now some Jews think "God is Dead" [2] Their reason to
thinking this is because God is supposed to be omnipotent and almighty
he could not have let something like this to happen. If there was a
God, surely this event would not have taken place.

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Therefore they
think he can't exist, if these were his qualities. Other Jews believe
he is still alive but he was away from earth beyond explanation. A
rabbi Rabbinic Judaism has said this has happened because of the sins
the Jews did. His quote was "because of our sins we were punished", I
think this is very harsh because Jews are not the only people that can
create a sin, even Christians or Indians could be sinners, now the
question is why them ?. God is almighty and has unlimited power to do
anything so why couldn't he stop this. These are the questions Jews
have in their mind. This has happened because of the problem of evil,
not only natural evil but man-made evil. The world's biggest problem
that causes unbalances, prejudice and suffering. A small group of
people believe God sent the Nazis to kill these Jews in Germany
because the Jews in Europe did not support Zionism enough. Horrific
events like this are thought to be the prices of exercising free will
and the consequences have been for the Jews to suffer. All the pain
and agony was not even thought for by Hitler and some Nazi officials.
The holocaust reflects on how poor humanity was at that time. If there
were good people like Oscar Schindlers a lot of people wouldn't have
died because if people united against their country it would have been
hard to do these types of things i.e. killing or taking the Jews away.
Evil was created by God but I don't think he created it for a bad
purpose because he is supposed to create only good and if this was
there it had to be for a good reason. If there was no evil we would
not be able to discriminate and tell what is good or bad, but this is
where the problems comes to exist. The reason why God created evil was
to make free will matter otherwise it would really be hard for
deciding between the good and evil. The main problems the Holocaust
present for the Jews are their beliefs because not everyone can go
through an event like this thinking God is still alive. It takes
courage to still live believing in God after so much suffering. I
think this is bad and a very hard thing to do because many people
would just forget the fact that God exist. This makes the Jews feel
bad because they had to be killed. I think this is a poor act on
Humanity and that many people would agree. Religious people would
probably have no luck trying to prove God existed and Normal people
would think he did not exist; this is why it creates a problem for the
Jews.

A lot of Jews have tried to respond to this problem and I will
investigate about how and what they did to overcome this problem. The
people are Richard Rubenstein, Primo Levi and Emil Fackenheim. I will
start of with Richard and include all the facts about him and then go
on to Primo Levi and in the end Emil.

Richard Rubenstein is a teacher of Religion at a University in
Bridgeport. Dr. Rubenstein is his commonly known name. He is a member
in the University for Life. He actually studied how to reform Judaism
when he was in Florida. He is a master of Theology and knows well
about beliefs in God; He is also a Doctor and a newspaper publisher.
He has published many books about his life. One very famous book is
"After Auswichz" and tells the story of his life during the end of the
war. His books are multi-lingual and are available in many countries.
He denies that God exist in this world because he think Man is now too
powerful to get into his control. I think he is right in a way and
wrong. Most people would think he is right because there are so many
wars and things going in the like the war in Iraq. Religious people
would not think in this way and say he is wrong because they go to
temples, synagogues or churches and if God did not exist they would be
proved wrong. So there are two views to his point and it depends which
view you accept. I would strongly disagree because I believe God
exists and follow my culture of worshipping God.

Primo Levi was a chemist and also a poet. He spent ten months in a
concentration camp from 1943-1944.He was a definite non-believer of
his religion; he had no consolation for his religion. He wanted to
kill all those Germans before he was taken to Auswichz where he was
made to work in a rubber factory. His story went like this, one day in
the factory it was very hot and he and a good friend waited and
waited, there was no water at all, after some time nearby there was a
tap in which a bit of water was dripping so he took some and tasted
it, this was drinkable so he drank and drank. When his friend asked
for a sip he refused to give it to him. Eventually his friend died
because he had been to hot and had no water. This was his regret and
this was what he considered not to be a man. He wrote many poems and
one famous poem he wrote was related to this story. One line in that
poem read "consider if this is a man"[3]This poems suggest that humans
are taken away from being worthy and that if they remain human after
the act. Before the Holocaust he did not care for his religion
whatsoever and after the Holocaust was the same. He was very lucky to
be alive because he was one of the 20 people to come out of
Auschwitzsafe because he was a skilled chemist. Primo Levi had very
strong words that meant so much. His words are more powerful about the
Man-Made Nazi evil. I think he also had the courage to go through
this. In the end he still never believed in either his religion or
God.

Emil Fackenheim was a Canadian rabbi and philosopher. His work mainly
dealt with the problem of revelation in Israel. He studied the
academic of Jewish studies. Sadly he passed away last year (2003) He
was a real believer and would not let Hitler celebrate his victory.
His quote was "not to hand Hitler a posthumous victory", which meant
they did not want to lose against Hitler. He thinks that Jews should
live as Jews. He thinks if any Jew gives up means they have lost and
let Hitler have the victory. He stood up and would not let himself
down. He greatly believes in his religion and the quote above is the
614th Jewish commandment. In an interview he had said. "Genocide is
horrible yet human when motivated by xenophobia or greed for money,
power or territory…the killing of the Jews was ideological murder of
its own sake. Torture and murder become ends of themselves." What he
is trying to convey to us is that the killing of Jews for no money or
land was no use. It made no sense but in the end he says the torture
and murder becomes the end of themselves. This was pretty right
because after doing all of this Hitler actually committed suicide. As
a Jew everything being blamed on them was not fair. He was arrested on
the night on Nov.9th which is commonly known as the night of broken
glass. This was when all the nationwide Jews were taken from their
Businesses or Synagogues. His brother who also stood up got killed in
WWII. He strongly believes that Jews should stand up and not let the
Germans get away. After leaving the concentration camp he became a
rabbi. He became a writer on Jewish Philosophy. I am deeply persuaded
by his actions against Hitler. It was very hard to stand up during
that hard period. Death was obvious if anything went wrong. I strongly
agree with him, a person who would see what he did will never think
about him in a negative way. An act like this proves he still believes
in God and has not given up. This is the type of person I think is
most convincing because of many reasons such as courage, and loyalty
to his religion, God and his country. I think a lot of people would
agree with my point on saying he has a very convincing opinion because
there are lots of facts and sources that confirm all of this.

The most convincing opinion is Emil Fackenheim because it not only
makes sense but shows how serious he is. He is full of courage and
confidence. He wants the Jews to have victory even though they lost so
much. I will explain more of this now.

I think Emil Fackenheim is most convincing and I hope you do too; his
opinion makes the most sense to a lot of people. He stands up for his
country and does not want Hitler to win. Creating the 614th
commandment I think he was a great person. Even after this terrible
event having so much faith in god is unbelievable. He stood up and
wanted to go against when the Laws were enforced that Jewish children
could not go to school or Jews couldn't own anything like factories or
businesses. Fackenheim was held in Britain as an enemy at the outbreak
of WWII. He and his works always argued that Hitler must not be handed
victory. He always mentioned and argued that even though the Holocaust
took place killing so many people Jews must remain as Jews and
continue Jewish existence and believe in God. His main target was not
to let Hitler celebrate and this point makes it so convincing which is
hard to explain. He thought of something so strong which must have
changed the thought of so many Jews around the World, just by saying
his quote of not letting Hitler win. I will repeat the quote which is
"not to hand Hitler a posthumous victory". I hope you agree with this
and find this very convincing. The Jews should not give up in the
existence of God even though such an event was to take place. Jews
must continue Jewish Existence.

Bibliography

http://www.holocaust-trc.org/fackenheim.htm

http://www.inch.com/~ari/levi1.html

http://www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/sermons/030330%20Sermon.htm

Booklet from School.

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[1]http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Holocaust-theology

[2] Encyclopedia.com

[3]If this is a man - Primo Levi


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