By Michael L. Morgan, Benjamin Pollock
Responses to Fackenheim's reflections at the centrality of the Holocaust to philosophy, Jewish concept, and modern event.
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Additional info for The Philosopher as Witness: Fackenheim and Responses to the Holocaust
Henceforth PW. 16. PR II, i, 81 ff. 17. WG II, 727. 18. PR II, ii, 7. 19. PG, 6. 20. PW II, 938. 21. Three essays in Jon Stewart, The Hegel Myths and Legends (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1996), on “the myth of the end of history,” are up to date, citing Fukuyama, Kojeve, and Hegel himself, but none are serious about Hegel’s Divinity as itself having a history. See also my essay in Stewart’s collection. 22. Journal of Contemporary History (April 1968): 133–47. The earlier essay is “Hegel’s Views on Jewish Emancipation,” Jewish Social Studies (April 1963): 145–51.
Unlike modern secularism, he explains, the Holocaust does seem to refute the God of History. He then addresses himself to the question of the Passover Seder after the Holocaust: 42 Philosopher As Witness The pious Jew during the Passover Seder has always reenacted the salvation at the Red Sea. The event always remained real for him because He who once had saved was saving still. And this latter afﬁrmation could continue to be made, even in times of catastrophe, because the divine salvation remained present in the form of hope.
Thus the startling recovery of the last part of To Mend the World is made possible, indeed preﬁgured, by the text’s interpretative assumptions. The securing of language from the effects of catastrophe is especially surprising because Fackenheim is aware of the problems of protecting thought from rupture by events. Indeed, he distinguishes his own thinking from that of Hegel in just these terms. In the preface to the second edition of To Mend the World, Fackenheim writes about the difference between healing and mending.