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November 28, 1980 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-11-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, November 28, 1980 25

Fackenheim Lecture on Affirmation of Life'

By DAVID FRIEDMAN
(Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.)

Much has been written
about what should be the
Jewish response to the
Holocaust. Yet iw was most
simply and lucidly put re-
cently by that clear-sighted
Jewish philosopher from
the University of Toronto,
Emil Fackenheim.
The response should be
an affirmation of life," he
told a recent session of
"Dialogue 80" the commu-
nity forum that Rabbi
William Berkowitz has
doderated at New York's
Cong. Bnai Jeshurun for the
last 30 years. "Life is more
holy after the kingdom of
darkness than before."
Born in Germany, Fac-
kenheim was ordained a
rabbi there and interned in
a Nazi concentration camp
before immigrating to
Canada in 1940.

Anti-Semitism has his-
torically been worse than
racism, Fackenheim
pointed out. He said that
racism sees a people as
inferior. But anti-Semites
hate Jews not only for
their.-perceived defects
but also for their virtues.
"Anti-Semites say that
Jews should not exist,"
he said.
Fackenheim said that the
Holocaust is "unique" in
history. But he said he did
not want to make compari-
sons with other cases of
genocide because to do so is
"odious." The Holocaust
was also unique in Jewish
history, he said.
The only similar incident
was one that did not suc-
ceed, the attempt by Haman
to murder all the Jews of
Persia. "Never before (the
Nazi period) was ,there a
Haman who succeeded."

40°0

Fackenheim said. He said
that in other cases Jews
either died as martyrs, re-
fusing conversion, or were
murdered in an emotional
rage by mobs in pogroms.
But, Fackenheim de-
clared, after the
Holocaust there is a 614th
commandment that Jews
must follow, "Jews are
forbidden to give Hitler
any posthumous vic-
tories."
Fackenheim sees this
first of all requiring the
safeguarding of Israel, for
Israel to him is the greatest
affirmation of the continua-
tion of Jewish life after the
Holocaust.

HAIFA — University of
Chicago Prof. J. Cronin,
winner of the 1980 Nobel
Prize for Physics, is cur-
rently involved in a joint re-
search project with Prof.
Arnon Dar and Dr. Gad
Eilam of the Technion.
The Technion staffers are
analyzing the results of ex-
periments being performed
in Chicago by Prof. Cronin
and his team of physicists.

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