God on Trial – Movie -JUDAISM

Watch God on Trial and analyze the way Jews during the Holocaust dealt with the problem of evil. How their tradition of academic study of the Torah allows them to Question God without losing their religion. What impacted you the most from the movie?



3 responses to “God on Trial – Movie -JUDAISM

  1. At the end of God on Trial, when the verdict was drawn I will admit that I felt a certain satisfaction. Not being a believer in an all-powerful and kind god, the way they finally came to a solid conclusion and were able to accept the answer they had found was liberating. Also in how they used ethos pathos and logos to conduct their. They approached it through all angles, venturing into the idea of free will, whether or not we truly have free will to discussing how god cannot possibly be all powerful and all loving. Because for the holocaust to happen he is either unable to stop it or he does not care. Furthermore going into the topic of sacrificing good people for a better future when only the most awful would survive to see that future made no sense as a plan for god to have. And lastly how one of the judges who was not Jewish in any sense except for his lineage, which he had no idea of, telling the other judges that the Nazis had taken everything from them but to not let them take their god since that is the last thing have and the only thing that cannot be taken away. The verdict was fitting, and as the rabbi said they had endured.


  2. Depicting a traumatic and horrific event for the Jewish population throughout the twentieth century, God on Trial was an interesting movie to watch because not only did it portray how difficult and challenging it had become for Jewish individuals throughout the time of the Holocaust, it also showed the devastating life they had to endure. God on Trial was also an inspiring movie to watch because despite all the hardships and tests of faith Jewish individuals had to undergo, many never lost their faith in God.
    Declaring that God should be put on trial for abandoning his people, Auschwitz prisoners formed a rabbinical court of three judges, consisting of the Head of the Court, Father of the Court, and the questioner to determine whether God is to blame for their fate. As the movie had progressed, individuals argued towards acquitting God of all charges, being that Auschwitz was a way of testing their faith. However, in contrast, individuals also argued that if God loved his people and was truly all-powerful, why would He still allow the Nazis to take the lives of their people, shooting the elderly, taking them to concentration camps, and not helping them, but rather leaving them there to suffer and endure the pain? One individual argues that if God is indeed punishing the Jewish population, then the punishment is not as proportional to any crime they may have committed in the past. However, in response to this statement, one responds that God’s punishments are not always going to be proportional, but rather that the Holocaust can be seen as an act of purification for individuals. In addition, an individual also argues that the Jewish population, same as any other individual, is presented with the option of obtaining free will, where one decides and brings upon the choices they make.
    God’s theory and mentality is one that cannot be understood. Rather, the only thing individuals had left at that time was to believe, trust, and have faith in God. As the movie progressed, individuals brought upon the Torah and recited distinct verses, such as the psalm that recorded God’s promise to the Jewish people, which in return only gave them hope. Jewish individuals had addressed the relation between God, evil, and human suffering by demonstrating an extent between those who defended, justified, or accepted God’s relationship to evil and those who refused to give any positive meaning for the presence of evil in the world. God’s relationship to evil, according to Jewish individuals, is one that included unjustified suffering. One is able to witness this testimony throughout the movie based on having God put on trial.
    One aspect that impacted me the most from this film is that towards the end of the movie, Jewish individuals concluded that God was found guilty of breaking his covenant with the Jews. However, despite the fact that God was found guilty, their response towards the problem of evil included the continuation of prayer, which as a result, only increased and strengthened their faith.


  3. The movie God on Trial was very moving and frank in revealing the horrors experienced by many Jewish people during the Holocaust. Throughout the course of the movie, the people are trying to determine if God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people and the problem of evil. It is discussed that evil exists as a challenge to Jewish people throughout time and to punish them, that the bad things that happened to the people throughout history is just God acting through a person (in this case Hitler) as a weapon to punish. A character mentions the conquering of the Jewish land by the Babylonians and the Romans, causing them to loose their land and their temple, but they still exist while their conquerors do not. At one point it mentions that Israel means “struggle with God”, supporting that it is a part of the Jewish religion to have one’s faith questioned. During the trial, the people act in a way that suggests that they are trying to reason with God, to understand why he allowed them to wind up in such a situation, and why he let so many innocent suffer. Some see it as disheartening, either God is not omnipotent and is unable to aid his people, or God is all-powerful and chooses not to act. Which leaves the question, if the case is the latter, what had they done to deserve the suffering they ended up going through?
    Personally, the part of the movie that stuck out to me the most was the scene near the end with the rabbi. Throughout the movie he is quietly chanting prayers and is said to be one of the most devout of rabbis from where he came. This builds the situation up to be even more shocking for the scene where the rabbi suddenly stops chanting, stands up, and states a list of questionable things about God. That based on the historical actions of God, that he might be morally unjust for causing innocent upon innocent to suffer, i.e.: Abraham near sacrificing Isaac, flooding the Earth and only Noah’s family surviving, the long and painful death of David’s son, and the killing of all firstborn Egyptian children. It was extremely poignant and depressing to watch a holy man lose his faith.


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