murder of 6,000,000 Jews in the Holocaust may be
evidence that God is dead.
In coming to terms with the
horrific tragedy of the systematic extermination of human life
during the Holocaust, Jewish theologians came to ponder the
unthinkable: Could the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be dead?
Jews were not alone in wondering how a God of mercy and
righteousness could have allowed such a horrendous loss of life
to have occurred. How could an omniscient and omnipotent
God permit such a huge multitude of His people to be forsaken so
mercilessly? Because the magnitude of the Holocaust, for
many Jews, the usual explanations of why bad things happen to
good people simply did not suffice. Thus, the notion that
God Himself may have died became a plausible explanation in the
minds of even influential Jewish theologians. No one knows
how many Jews became atheists after the Holocaust.
As difficult as it may be for
some to imagine, God is very much alive and present in our world
today as He was during the Holocaust. Essential to
understanding why it is so unthinkable that God would have
allowed such a tragedy to occur is the fundamental relationship
or covenant that the Jews have with God. To the Jewish
people, God is much more than simply the "Creator of the
Universe" or an impersonal higher being. For the Jewish
people, God is their parent in every sense of the word-- their
protector, their provider and the source of life, peace,
justice, purpose, love, lineage, harmony, happiness and
everything good that makes life worth living.
So the question becomes, how
can a loving parent sit back and do nothing while witnessing the
systematic extermination of his children, hundreds at a time, until
the toll reached into the millions? It is only possible to
understand the answer to such a difficult question by
methodically examining the central role of the Jews as chosen
people in God's Providence from a new perspective. Without
understanding the providential purpose for which Israel came
into being as God's chosen nation and its corresponding
dispensational responsibility, it is impossible to understand
the underlying significance and meaning of the Holocaust and why
God was unable to prevent it. This explanation will be
provided in the explanation to Judaism Myth #5.