Because students intent on turning their university experience into technical schooling and job training simply won’t commit to work in the humanities without a goad.
In the back of my mind, this encounter reminded me of the episode of Seinfeld.
Like in Levitt’s book, our own discussion toggled back between a catastrophe the scope of which is hard and even impossible to comprehend and more ordinary experience of popular culture (kitschy Holocaust movies, Harry Potter, things like that) Here’s the odd thing.
The class attendance was already low because more than half the class had already skipped out to go home or elsewhere for spring break.
This is the moral reflex of an older person in relation to younger people. But while I could provide definite answers to at least the third question, these would be the answers of someone who grew up with in the mid 1970s when the first generation of Holocaust memory was still fresh and new. If could boil down the reasons into one reason, this would only be my answer, not their answer, not the reason of a young person growing up in 2017.
(The same issue came up in a class discussion of Heschel, , and technology) (Even as they proved capable of picking up on and discussing the ideas, I’m now wondering, did they even read the text? There is something almost organic or natural about the student response, this inability and a refusal to watch a film like The response comes down to three questions. “I don’t have the time for it.” This is no doubt a new thing in the generation of Holocaust memory pressured by the market professionalization that now consumes so much of university life.Still later, Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sasov, in order to save his people once more, would go into the forest and say: “I do not know how to light the fire, I do not know the prayer, but I know the place and this must be sufficient.” It was sufficient and the miracle was accomplished.Then it fell to Rabbi Israel of Rizhyn to overcome misfortune.Something very strange happened in my American Judaism class this past week.At the start of the semester in relation to I forget what I got into an argument with my students (a good natured one I’d like to think) about kitschy Hollywood Holocaust movies.Ella was not the only student who defended This week we finally got to the class unit on the Holocaust and American Jewish life.I began class with Neusner’s famous thesis about vicarious American Judaism (that hybrid from the 1970s in which the experience of Jewish life was dominated by the Holocaust memorialization, support for the State of Israel, and the struggle for Soviety Jewry).But really, I don’t think they wanted to see the movie.And even Bernie, bless his soul, did not even finish the movie.They can articulate positions and counter-positions. Later, when his disciple, the celebrated Magid of Mezritch, had occasion, for the same reason, to intercede with heaven, he would go to the same place in the forest and say: “Master of the Universe, listen!I do not know how to light the fire, but I am still able to say the prayer,” and again the miracle would be accomplished.