Shekhinah’s Kiss

Tracing the Inter-Face between Motherhood and God in the Holocaust
  • Melissa Raphael


During the Holocaust, Jewish mothers and their children were treated by the Nazis not as noncombatants but as enemies posing a direct racial threat to the Reich. This chapter will use the recent research into gender and the Holocaust and oral histories of mothers and daughters who survived the Holocaust to show how women experienced and resisted their status as “enemies” of the Reich. More to the theological point, this chapter will explore how the suffering of these mothers, and their resistance to their own and their children’s suffering, signals toward another model of covenantal relation between God and Israel. In this new model, God’s promise to Israel in Leviticus 26, “I will be ever in your midst; I will be your God, and you shall be My people,” need no longer be figured in terms of loyalty and obedience to the commandment of an overbearing Lord.


Jewish Woman Female Face Woman Survivor Death Camp Divine Love 


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© Gillian Howie and J’annine Jobling 2009

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  • Melissa Raphael

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