The greatest atrocity of many eras is the destruction of Europe's Jews. It is a tragedy so awesome and numbing that it defies comprehension. Attempts to come to grips with it have led to many conflicting points of view, and, more often than not, to utter frustration. But not only does such massive horror as the Holocaust require a human response. Every personal and community tragedy does also. A parent dealing with the loss of a child, a breadwinner faced with the loss of a job, no tragedy is trivial to the one it strikes; and that person must find a way to recognize that the Hand that struck him or her was that of the Merciful One. How is an ordinary human being to do that? In this book, a distinguished Torah scholar-teacher and a colleage-disciple present a sweeping, moving, penetrating analysis. It is rooted in the broad sweep of Torah thought, solidly based on a dizzying array of sources, and presented with passion and clarity. Rabbis Yoel Schwartz and Yitzchak Goldstein's collaboration has gained wide respect and acceptance in Israel, where this book originally appeared in Hebrew. Bravely and brilliantly, they accepted the challenge of dealing with the most difficult subject of this century. Insisting that the reader not take the easy course of looking the other way, they provoke and enlighten. As they explain this great tragedy, they help us deal with all of the crisis of life, with compassion and understanding. This book is important, illuminating, inspiring. It forces us to think and, in the process, we grow. There is no higher praise possible.
by Rabbi Yoel Schwartz
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