Erik Fransman directed the documentary, The Spectacular Absence of God. “Funny and emotionally gripping.” “A very personal story, universally told.” “An Atheist search for his Jewish roots, unorthodox told.” “Packed with Jewish (?) wit.” These were some of the reactions after the TV Dutch broadcast of The Spectacular Absence of God. If you ask the director Erik, “Are you Jewish?” the answer is simple: “Yes, I am a Jew.” If you ask him, “Do you feel Jewish?” the answer is a bit hesitant: “Yes…I feel Jewish, too.” But at the follow-up question, “Why do you feel Jewish?” the answer is, “I don´t know.” Why doesn’t he know that? His family, all the way back to his grandparents, are all Jewish atheists. They never went to shul, did not celebrate the Jewish holidays, did no bar or bat mitzvah either. They have no religious Jewish tradition in their family. His grandparents on his father’s side were deported and murdered in Sobibor. After the Second World War, his parents “decided” that it was best not to show their Jewishness. Being openly Jewish only got you into trouble. And the Holocaust had just proven that. As a result, Erik’s parents’ traumas of the Holocaust were not passed over to him, his brother, and sister who all had a joyful youth. The flipside is, they did not know anything about Judaism. They never missed it because they didn’t know what they didn’t know. Together with his 89-year-old father, two uncles, and a cousin, all atheists, he wants to discover what, if anything, Judaism means for them. And possibly find out why he feels Jewish. In the end, he gets his answer. Something he did not have at the beginning. In the beginning, there was nothing.