“Hester Panim” and God’s Presence in the Holocaust Part 1
By Rav Tamir Granot
In this lecture Granot explores a profound theme – Hester Panim – “the hidden face of God”.
I admire Jewish theologians for engaging with the thornier issues of existence. they seek no easy or presumptuous escape from the problems which confront humanity. The suffering of the Jews at the hands of the gentiles, with the Holocaust being the most powerful example of such suffering, adds a particular gravitas to their thinking.
Significantly the hester panim of Jewish theology is to be found at the Cross too, on the lips of a crucified Jew:
Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani
Ἠλί, Ἠλί, λιμὰ σαβαχθανί
My God my God, why have You forsaken me?
Jesus, in his Passion, meets with this hiddeness of God, and in the mystery of the cross, God Himself experiences abandonment.