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Why Should Jews Survive?: Looking Past the Holocaust toward a Jewish Future

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195111262
ISBN-10: 0195111265
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The title Goldberg chooses for his denunciation of a mentality of victimization among Jews should cause a stir, but not as much as will his arguments. He asserts that it is important to study the Holocaust, yet he laments that the study has taken on almost religious dimensions. For Goldberg, to portray Jewish history as a long series of suffering, culminating in World War II, is not only inaccurate; it is a "deeply anti-Semitic" assessment of the Jewish people as "spineless." He chastises the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, saying that if its goal "is to spur America's conscience so that it never happens again, so far, it seems, it's been a $167 million bust." He criticizes a militant belief in martyrdom as he compares the Jews' mass suicide in resistance to the Romans at Masada to that of the Jonestown cult. Deeply religious himself, he concludes that the Jews' mission is to carry out God's redemption of the world. These are all provocative ideas. It's about time Judaic studies received such an alarming wake-up call. Aaron Cohen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Stirring, lucid, and beautifully written."--The Jerusalem Report

"An eloquent, brave call to Jewish covenantal fidelity....Goldberg's erudite passion deserves the ear of the masses."--Kirkus Reviews

"[A] thoughtful and challenging essay."--Publishers Weekly


Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 10, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195111265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195111262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,112,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rabbi Michael Goldberg, PhD, is a nationally-acclaimed writer and speaker. He has held two university chairs in Jewish Studies, worked with the international strategic management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, served as a professional ethicist with the Georgia Supreme Court as well as on hospital ethics committees. Rabbi Goldberg's most meaningful professional work, however, has been as a hospital and hospice chaplain, giving spiritual support and guidance to patients of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, the vast majority of whom have not been Jews, nor for that matter, practicing adherents of any "organized" religion.

Rabbi Goldberg is the author of several books, one of which, Jews and Christians, Getting Our Stories Straight, was the subject of a feature article in The New York Times, and another of which, Why Should Jews Survive?, appeared on the lead page of The Washington Post's "Sunday Book Review" section. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation and spoken before a variety of medical, legal, business, academic, and popular audiences on issues pertaining to ethics and religion.

Goldberg completed his undergraduate studies in philosophy at Yale, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Now a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform), Goldberg received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary (Conservative). Following his ordination, he received his Ph.D. in systematic theology and philosophy of religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

As one of the originators of "narrative theology and ethics," Goldberg became interested in various stories linking the human with the divine. That interest in "theology-in-practice" led him to hospital and hospice chaplaincy. In that context, he often discovered just how much spiritual care his patients and families provided him. Based on his first-hand chaplaincy experience, Goldberg's most recent book, Raising Spirits: Stories of Suffering and Comfort at Death's Door, not only speaks of matters pertaining to illness and dying, but more broadly, to life itself.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Holocaust is a singular event in modern Jewish history. Michael Goldberg's insightful book attempts to place the Holocaust in its proper perspective within the modern Jewish consciousness. An essential work for all people who seek to understand the reality of Jewish existence in a post-Holocaust world. Stimulating, controversial, and thought-provoking.
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Why Should Jews Survive?: Looking Past the Holocaust toward a Jewish Future
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