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Wrestling with the Angel: Toward a Jewish Understanding of the Nazi Assault on the Name

Wrestling with the Angel: Toward a Jewish Understanding of the Nazi Assault on the Name
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Index , Notes , Bibliography
$19.95 (19.95)
“This painfully penetrating volume reflects the quest of a soul for understanding what is beyond.”
—Elie Wiesel, author of Night

“Synthesizing in a distinctive way the perspectives of the Jewish religious tradition and contemporary philosophical and theological thought, David Patterson here presents an illuminating and impassioned account of the fundamental questions posed by the events of the Holocaust.”
—Berel Lang, author of Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide

This book shows that, proceeding from philosophical precedents, the Nazis undertook an assault on God, who in the Jewish tradition is known as the Name and that this assault has implications for Jewish thinking about Jewish identity in the post-Holocaust era. It shows that in the assault on the Name, there is an assault on the name—that is, on the very identity—of the Jew. The book examines the tradition of philosophical anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust, how that Jew hatred manifested itself during the Holocaust as an assault on God and Israel, and what the Jewish people can do about it in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Introduction: Wrestling with the Angel
1: Modern and Postmodern Dimensions of the Holocaust
Seeds Planted in the Enlightenment
Seeds Sprouted in the Twentieth Century
The Jewification Problem
The Nazi Weltanschauung
From the Idealist Kant To the Nazi Heidegger
The Postmodern, Heideggerian Evi
Responding To Heidegger after the Holocaust

2: The Harrowing of the Holy One
The Assault on the Holiness of Humanity
The Mystery, Meaning, and Obliteration of the Face
Of Madness and Monstrosity
Life Time, Death Time, and Holy Time1
The Assault on the Sabbath
Refusal and Affirmation of the Name
Prayer To the Name, for the Name, in the Name
The Nazis’ Assault on the Mitzvah
The Murder of the Child

3: The Desecration of the Origin
Woman in the Sacred Tradition
A Memory of the Murder of the Mother: Ka-tzetnik
The Cry of the Orphan and the Orphaned Outcry
The Loss of the Love That Lies at the Origin
A Name and an Address
The Murder of the Moral in the Assault on Motherhood
Mothers Despite Killing Babies

4: The Death of the Angel of Death
When Life and Death Were Brethren
Life and Death Torn Asunder
Antideath and the Murder of Death
The Problem of Martyrdom
The Problem of Liberation
The Ferocious Silence of Isolation
The Death of the Angel and the Exile of the Jew
The Memory of the Death of the Angel of Death
Engaging the Angel Once Again

5: Word and Meaning: A Memory and a Name
The Postmodern Concern for the Word
The Jewish Word Opposite the Nazi Anti-Word
The Word Opposed To Silence
The Name That Summons a Name
Entering the Word, Assuming a Name
The Twilight of Memory, the Affirmation of a Name
Toward a Future of the Name, for the Name

A Closing Word: What Is Your Name?