Ethical Implications of the Holocaust

Michael Berenbaum

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199736065
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Ethical Implications of the Holocaust

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This chapter examines the difficulties the Holocaust posed and continues to raise for Jews, Jewish theology, and specifically Jewish ethics, identifying eight major commitments made by Jews and non-Jews that have since then inspired Jewish and global responses to human-made atrocities such as genocide and crimes against humanity. These are (1) to survive; (2) to perpetuate the memory of what happened; (3) to survive as Jews; (4) to set the moral bar high such that people are expected to be “upstanders,” not bystanders, in the face of evil; (5) to recreate relationships with people of other faiths; (6) to combat discrimination and genocide; (7) to define and demand humane standards for medical research; and (8) to learn how to attain both justice and reconciliation after genocidal atrocities.

Keywords: Jews; ethical theories; Jewish theology; genocide; crimes against humanity

Article.  9037 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies ; Philosophy of Religion

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