Problems of Jewish Religion Discussed at American Academy Symposium

The effect of the Nazi holocaust on the religious faith of modern Jews who ask “Why did God permit it to happen?” was stressed here yesterday by Professor Emil C. Fackenheim of the University of Toronto, who was one of the Jewish participants in a symposium of all three faiths sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on religion and American culture. Prof. Fackenheim said that the holocaust had dealt a shattering blow to Jewish faith.

Commenting on the concern expressed by many of the participating intellectuals over what they described as a “religious crisis in America,” Prof. Fackenheim said that affluence was a root cause of the crisis. Nothing makes anyone less interested in basic questions than affluence, he declared. Another Jewish participant, Milton Himmelfarb, editor of the American Jewish Year Book, said that “with Jews, the religious crisis is chronic.” Professor Charles S. Liebman, of Yeshiva University, also addressed the symposium.

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