Cloud Of Smoke Pinllar Fire Analysis

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Doctor Irving Greenberg, a Modern Orthodox rabbi contemplates the question of whether it makes sense to believe in God after the Holocaust in his Cloud of Smoke, Pillar Fire” (1977). Considering the nature of the Holocaust as a historical transforming event and its substantial death toll, that is taking the lives of six million Jewish, several postulations surrounding the subject of God after the Holocaust have emerged, such as the works of Richard Rubenstein, Eliezer Berkovits, and Hans Jonas to name a few. Greenberg’s work explores that when considering the horrible nature of the Holocaust, it may be fallacious to believe in God and moreover disrespectful to its victims. However, despite of this, there are still moments in which God is present,…show more content…
Additionally, the broader question of belief in God is raised when taking Wiesel’s statement into account “the little faces of children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke…” How could God allow this killing of innocent children to occur, if one is being honest with themselves it seems fallacious and almost disturbing to believe in God considering this. Greenberg encapsulates this when he states that “the flames and smoke of the burning children bot out faith.” However, Greenberg also writes that despite of this, there are also moments when faith “flickers again.” Greenberg holds onto the idea that there are still moments “when redeemer and vision of redemption are present.” That is to state, that there are incredible experiences and moments in which God is present. Understanding that Greenberg asserts that sometimes faith “flickers” and sometimes it is “blotted out” means that we live in a time of “moments of faith” that is, that none of us have unbroken faith nor atheism, but rather, we live moment to moment regarding faith. “This ends the easy dichotomy of atheist/theist” by living moment to moment regarding faith, we move between atheism and theism and none of us are definitively one or the other. Hence, the dualism and any clear differentiation of atheist and theist is disrupted as the two are no longer binary. I find Greenberg’s treatment of belief in God after the Holocaust to be a
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