Fackenheim, Emil Ludwig

Fackenheim, Emil Ludwig āmēl lo͞otˈvĭkh făkˈənhīm [key], 1916–2003, Canadian-Israeli rabbi and philosopher, b. Halle, Germany, grad. Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, 1939; Ph.D., Univ. of Toronto, 1945. Briefly interned at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (1938–39), he became a rabbi and left Germany for Great Britain, where he was interned as an enemy alien after World War II began. He was sent to Canada in 1940, where he was a rabbi (1943–48), then professor of philosophy (1948–84) at the Univ. of Toronto; he subsequently moved to Israel, where he was associated with the Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem. Fackenheim explored the problem of revelation and the relationship of the Jews with God, believing that the Holocaust must be understood as an imperative requiring Jews to carry on Jewish existence and that the existence of the state of Israel is a rebuke to those who view the Jewish people as obsolete or dying. Among his books are God's Presence in History (1972) and To Mend the World (1982).

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