WHERE WAS G-D AT AUSCHWITZ?
Emil Fackenheim, a great philosopher, rabbi and survivor of Auschwitz asked “Where was G-d at Auschwitz?” He sought an answer to this question for a lifetime. He did not want Hitler to have a posthumous victory by proclaiming the State of Israel a resulting gift to the Jewish people bestowed upon us because of the atrocities of Hitler’s Nazi army.
Immediately following his death in September of 2003, the Guardian published an obituary wherein Lawrence Joffe wrote:
In the mid-1960s, Fackenheim coined a 614th commandment, not listed in the Hebrew Bible – “not to despair of God and not to despair of man”; as a corollary, he argued that Jewish survival “denied Hitler a posthumous victory”. And only a strong Israel, he continued, could prevent Jews vanishing from history.
For Fackenheim, the existence of the State of Israel was a Jewish imperative. He, in the words of Joffe:
“found solace in the kabbalistic paradigm of tikkun olam – mending a shattered world. Relating small acts of courage and charity in the camps could help humanity salvage shards of goodness and justice, thereby reaffirming a seemingly absent God. He posited triumph over the Nazi “hegemony of death” by recasting Heidegger’s concept of transcendence in religious terms. “
If advocating for the State of Israel was, as Fackenheim believed, a small step toward fixing a broken world, groups like Naturei Karta are shattering it.
We cannot say for sure how many members of Naturei Karta’s members are descendants of survivors of the atrocities of Hitler’s Germany. We posit that there are many. We are unable to fathom a group of Jews fighting against a Jewish homeland. Worse still is the formulated and articulated belief that “Resisting the Israeli Draft” is the last chapter in a struggle against Zionism.
Do these so-called Jews believe that they would be any less dead were Iran to launch a nuclear weapon against the State of Israel? Do they believe that their loved ones would be any more likely than any other Jew to survive a suicide bomber were those loved ones to come face to face with one? Are they naive enough to think that were the State of Israel to be destroyed, were it to be taken over by Islamic fundamentalists, were it even to be handed over to each of the countries from which land was either given or won in battle: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, they would be welcome there?
Setting politics aside, these are a group of Jews, proud to be advocating for the destruction of fellow Jews and a Jewish homeland. It matters not their reasons. It is of little difference their justification. Many of them live in a State and advocate for its very destruction.