The last writing assignment for the course consists of a Final Thematic Essay, wherein I would like you to synthesize your thinking related to one central course theme in the context of a final series of reading assignments, along with previously assigned course materials and, if you wish, a small amount of outside research.
Before you proceed with this essay assignment, please make sure you have read all eight of the readings linked from the “Preparation for Final Thematic Essay” page preceding this assignment page.
The readings assigned for this final essay raise and reflect a series of issues concerning the legacy of the Holocaust in general and specifically in relation to Jewish thought, faith, life, politics, society, etc. Â They place Elie Wiesel near or at the center of many of these discussions, either from his own perspective or from the viewpoint of others.
For this Final Thematic Essay, please identify one central theme or topic arising from the readings assigned and write about the ways Wiesel’s own work (including but not limited to his written work) embodies and reflects that theme. Â The precise topic of your essay is up to you, but here are some potential themes/topics from which you may choose to get you started:
The Holocaust, Israel, and the Palestinian Problem
Is the Holocaust a Substitute for Jewish Identity?
Peace and Reconciliation after the Holocaust
Diaspora Jewry and the Holocaust
The Responsibility to Bear Witness
or you may identify a topic of your own (feel free to run it by me first)
Whatever topic you select, it must represent an important theme in the course as you understand it: think of this essay assignment as a chance for you to focus on one issue you think is most important in the world of post-Holocaust Judaism, as seen through the lens of Elie Wiesel’s life and work.