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How did the Jews keep their faith despite the Holocaust?

How did the Jews keep their faith despite the Holocaust?


The Holocaust was a tragedy of the greatest proportion. Our minds can't even begin to relate to the number 6,000,000... And your question is right on target; logically, no faith or tradition can survive such a tragedy. There is no way to rebuild after such destruction.

But the Jew is different. His faith does not depend on things making sense. His belief does not come and go, for it doesn't rely on circumstances or external factors. It is built-in. It's inherently there. A Jew believes.

A Jew realizes that there is much in the world that we do not understand — mortal creations cannot expect to grasp the ways of their infinite Creator.

A Jew never despairs. He know that unlike the ancient Romans, Greeks, Persians, and the not-so-ancient Nazis — he is still around to tell the story. He was promised by G‑d that he will always be around. And it is this oath that he holds on to when the times get tough and he is faced with trials and tribulations.

A Jew has faith. He knows that it is often darkest before dawn. He believes that any day the world will one again be filled with light. His nation will be redeemed and return to their homeland in an era of peace, unity, and revelation of G‑dliness. Click here to read all about this anticipated era.

The above only touches on this delicate topic. Click here for a selection of stories and essays about the Holocaust.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar

Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar is a Chabad rabbi in Cary, North Carolina. He is also a member of the Ask the Rabbi team.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Anonymous New york June 21, 2017

Anyone who did survive the holocaust knows it was only due to the miracles they experienced that got them through. With that amount of hashgacha, Divine Providence, they were able to still feel the love of Hashem towards them and continue on. I believe this is the most solid answer after watching many survivor testimonials. Reply

Itche April 18, 2010

Re: Eliezer When a Jew says "Where was G-d during the holocaust?" he is actually declaring his belief in G-d. Because if there is no G-d, there is no reason to question, Reply

Anonymous calgary, alberta July 12, 2009

Holocaust How can the mind relate to the millions upon many millions more gone in the female holocaust. It has been around since before Abraham, down to this very day. It is the largest holocaust and the longest. The horrors, murders, beatings, rapes, cruel brutality etc...etc... The crime? Being a female. I wonder that any women are here at all. And who talks about it? It is mostly swept under the rug.
How can the mind relate? It can't. Reply

Eliezer Eber Houston, TX December 9, 2007

Not all Jews keep their faith It is a misnomer to say all Jews keep their faith--many people including non-Jews lost their faith in God because of the Holocaust and similar atrocities on humanity. Reply

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