How can a fictional text adequately or meaningfully represent the events of the Holocaust? Drawing on philosopher Stanley Cavell's ideas about "acknowledgment" as a respectful attentiveness to the world, Emily Miller Budick develops a penetrating philosophical analysis of major works by internationally prominent Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld. Through sensitive discussions of the novels Badenheim 1939, The Iron Tracks, The Age of Wonders, and Tzili, and the autobiographical work The Story of My Life, Budick reveals the compelling art with which Appelfeld renders the sights, sensations, and experiences of European Jewish life preceding, during, and after the Second World War. She argues that it is through acknowledging the incompleteness of our knowledge and understanding of the catastrophe that Appelfeld's fiction produces not only its stunning aesthetic power but its affirmation and faith in both the human and the divine. This beautifully written book provides a moving introduction to the work of an important and powerful writer and an enlightening meditation on how fictional texts deepen our understanding of historical events.Jewish Literature and Culture -- Alvin H. Rosenfeld, editor
This represents a break with a characteristic of mythpoeic thought that had persisted through the first Greek philosophers, namely the fourth characteristic, that myth is .
Get this from a library! Philosophy of Judaism. [Joshua Adler]
The belief in God as the sole Creator of the world and of all living creatures necessitates also a belief in the eternity of God. He is the Cause which has called all things into existence. But He needed no outer cause for His own existence, He Himself being the cause thereof. From this it follows that no limit can be placed upon His existence, that He has existed from all eternity, and that He will continue to exist forever. "I am the first, and I am the last," says the Lord through the mouth of the prophet (Isa. xliv. 6). He is called, therefore, "the eternal God" ("Elohe ḳedem"; Deut. xxxiii.), and the Psalmist calls Him the God who "from everlasting to everlasting is God" (Ps. xc. 2). This God, teaches the Jewish religion, is no carnal being; no carnal attributes may be assigned to Him, nor do earthly conditions apply to Him; and there exists, moreover, no other being that resembles Him. This doctrine is especially emphasized by Jewish theologians, because several Biblical expressions apparently favor a conception of God as a carnal being, and many teachers take these expressions literally. It is the nature of a carnal body that it is limited and defined by space. God, as a non-corporeal being, is not limited by space; and Solomon says, therefore, "behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens can not contain thee" (I Kings viii. 27). The sages expressed this conception thus: "God arranges the whole universe and sets its limits: but the universe has not sufficient room for Him; it can not contain Him" (Midr. Teh. to Ps. xc. 1 [ed. Buber, 195b-196a]). God is thus omnipresent. When expressions occur in the Holy Scriptures mentioning God as dwelling at a certain place, or when a house of God is spoken of, it is not to be understood that God is subject to limitations of space. For the heavens and the entire universe can not contain Him; how much less can a temple built by human hands? All such expressions are only means to convey the idea that certain places are fitted to bring human beings into such a frame of mind that they may approach God and find Him. In like manner do the Holy Scriptures warn against the attribution to God of any definite shape, and the conception of Him in any given likeness. "Ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude. . . . Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb" (Deut. iv. 12, 15). All the Biblical expressions which mention God in anthropomorphic terms are to be understood figuratively. God's "hand" signifies His power; His "eye" and His "ear," His omniscience, through which He sees and hears everything. His "joy" signifies His satisfaction; His "anger," His disapprobation of human acts done against His will. All these expressions are merely metaphorical, and were selected in order to make the power of God comprehensible to human beings, who are accustomed to see every action done through a human agency. When the Bible wishes to explain anything that has taken place on earth through divine intervention, it uses the same expressions as are employed in thecase of human acts. But in reality there is no comparison whatever possible between God, the absolute, spiritual being, and man, or between God's acts and man's. "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? . . . To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One" (Isa. xl. 18, 25). "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord" ( lv. 8; comp. Maimonides, "Moreh," i. 48; Albo, ii. 14-17).