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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Deadly Medicine: Lecture Seeks to Dispel Disheartening Thoughts

To Professor Robert Goldenberg, catastrophe is both a blessing and a curse.

Goldenberg explained the thought of catastrophe by saying that it has identifiable causes, while people believe that catastrophe has no meaning and that history is out of our control. The results of catastrophe make people realize the actions of their behavior.

Goldenberg mentioned his thoughts in his lecture entitled “National Catastrophe in the History of Jewish Thought,” as part of the “Deadly Medicine” exhibition at the Wang Center. He began the lecture saying that he will not touch upon the theme of “deadly medicine” but instead the medicine that ensures life and human thinking.

Goldenberg wanted the lecture to answer questions, do justice and turn a difficult and controversial topic into a lighter one.

Jill Zucker, the associate director of Hillel, makes it her mission to stress the importance of education to students. As part of Hillel, she helped organize the exhibition and lecture series.

“Professor Goldenberg is the most brilliant Jewish scholar and delivers in a way that students will listen,” Zucker said.

Goldenberg touched upon the relationship between Jews and Christians by saying that Christians believe the teachings of the Scripture are false. While Christians have the right to believe this, Goldenberg feels they should respect their beliefs and the fact that they have a relationship with the Creator of the World. Rachel Landau, a member of Hillel, found the lecture very informative and important. Landau believes Goldenberg’s thoughts on condemning Jewish children when brought into the world are not necessarily the fault of the parents.

Goldenberg said religion is often the target of genocide because religion can be chosen, while race cannot.

After World War II and the Holocaust came to an end, parents felt an extreme amount of guilt for bringing their children into the world and raising them into the Jewish religion.

“When you raise a Jewish child, you inescapably expose that child to mortal danger,” Goldenberg said. “The rational response, the loving parental response to this realization should have been to protect their children from such danger by any means possible, yet the opposite was happening.”

Lee Margulies, a first year student at the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare, wishes every seat in the lecture hall had been filled.

“The lecture was an important topic given what is going on in the Middle East,” Margulies said.

Goldenberg’s last words were about how the very existence of Jews is a problem and that they should be protected from hate.

“The origins of anti-Semitism don’t involve the Jews,” Goldenberg said. “The world could’ve decided to hate someone else.”

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