Children of Job: American Second-Generation Witnesses to the by Alan L. Berger

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By Alan L. Berger

Targeting the novels and movies of daughters and sons of Holocaust survivors, this e-book sheds gentle at the courting among the Holocaust and modern Jewish identification. it's the first systematic research of a physique of labor that introduces a brand new new release of Jewish writers and filmmakers, in addition to revealing how the survivor's legacy is shaping - and being formed via - the second one new release. conscientiously learning the paintings of those modern kids of task, Berger demonstrates how the offspring, just like the survivors themselves, symbolize quite a few orientation to Judaism, have major theological alterations, and proportion the legacy of the Shoah. Berger sincerely exhibits that contributors of the second one iteration take part totally in either the yank and Jewish dimensions in their identification and articulates exact second-generation theological and psychosocial topics.

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Elie Wiesel's additional covenant, the voluntary covenant articulated by Irving Greenberg, Emil L. Fackenheim's call for mending the world, and Richard L. Rubenstein's position, which evolved from a death From Pathology to Theology 23 of God abrogating the covenant to a qualified return to covenant, provide theological markers for those wishing to follow the implicit covenantal path outlined by second-generation witnesses. Further, each thinker has significantly shifted the focus of his thought.

Covenant and election were, argued Rubenstein, no longer able to provide a believable "plausibility structure" for a community that had seen six million of its members exterminated. Several second-generation writers exemplify this conclusion. For example, Art Spiegelman's Maus, Lev Raphael's various protagonists, and several of the characters in J. J. Steinfeld's works adopt a "God is Dead" approach. " While God may be absent or indifferent, humanity still yearns for meaning. He now envisages "God After the Death of God;" one whose divine image is rooted in a variety of sources: Kabbalah, the world of nature, Hegelian thought, and the teachings of Paul Tillich.

This chapter discusses the work of six second-generation witnesses: Thomas Friedmann's Damaged Goods; Barbara Finkelstein's Summer Novels and Short Stories: Jewish Particularism 37 Long-a-Coming; Art Spiegelman's Maus; Melvin J. Bukiet's two shortstory collections, Stories of an Imaginary Childhood and While the Messiah Tarries; two of the Canadian author J. J. Steinfeld's short-story volumes, Dancing at the Club Holocaust and Forms of Captivity and Escape, and Thane Rosenbaum's Elijah Visible: Stories.

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