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The Spirit of Renewal: Faith After the Holocaust

From the cover

In a voice that is engaging, often poetic, Rabbi Edward Feld helps the modern reader understand events that span almost 4,000 years of the history of Judaism and the Jewish people. With rare clarity, insight, and gentleness, he offers a thought-provoking yet accessible study of the way tragedy has shaped Jewish history and the self-understanding of Jews. He shows how, even under the most traumatic of circumstances, Judaism survives, renewing itself and flourishing again.

The Spirit of Renewal explores four key events that shaped religious expression two ancient and two modern: The Babylonian exile; the Bar Kochba revolution, the Holocaust, and the establishment of the State of Israel.

The cataclysm of the Holocaust seems to forbid speech. Yet even in the heart of that darkness, sparks of sacredness were kept alive. From these sparks, Rabbi Feld suggests, Jews and others can renew a faith and find a language that recovers the holy even after experiencing the reign of a Kingdom of Night unimaginable to previous generations.

This profound and wise meditation opens the way to a powerful new understanding of the nature of God and the spiritual life.

From the introduction

Jews are witnesses to a massiveness of destruction that previous generations could never have imagined, and we have experienced as well the breathtaking incarnation of many ancient hopes. Do we not need a theological matrix to begin to understand and articulate our own history? Do we not need to recover a sense of the holy? Surely we must find the syllables of a religious language that would speak to our time even if what we say is like a child's first utterances. For the overwhelming events we have seen demand speech; our inner being clamors for it.