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Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This first collection of Heschel's essays - compiled, edited and with an introduction by his daughter Susannah Heschel, is a stunning reminder of the virtuosity of one of the most well respected minds in Judaic studies.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 16th 1997 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published May 1st 1996)
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CJ Pine
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Two themes: pondering the mystery of existence, and sharing in God’s mission.
Amy
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Quote from Symbolism and Jewish Faith, pp. 82-3, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edited by Susannah Heschel, c. 1996 by Sylvia Heschel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. -

“The fundamental insight that God is not and cannot be localized in a thing [9] was emphatically expressed at the very moment in which it could have been most easily forgotten, at the inauguration of the Temple in Jerusalem. At that moment Solomon exclaims:
But will God in very truth dwel
...more
Naomi
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaism, theology
A very fine collection of Abraham Joshua Heschel's essays, reflecting on what is vital worship, the function and practice of prayer, considering religious authority and human purpose, and attending to peace and civil rights. Strongly recommended for those interested in theology and ethics, whether one ends up agreeing with Heschel or not, the reader is always drawn into deeper theological and ethical consideration.
Victoria Weinstein
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is such a powerful series of essays on the religious life. I can't believe I waited this long to read it! I'm going to take my time and savor it. I would recommend it for every minister's library -- it's hugely inspiring, brilliant stuff.
Shira
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am surprised, not to read of his call for such a thing, but at never having heard of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's call for the creation of an office to oversee the moral behavior of United States armed forces in times of war. I see that modern Rabbis were not the first to have to justify their speaking out on political matters, either (as one rabbi recently argued for being allowed, over the objections of congregants, to give sermons on political topics).

I am also dismayed to learn that even
...more
Michael-David Sasson
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wide-ranging survey of Heshel's thinking, speaking, writing and passions.
I appreciated reading short samplings in areas in which I might not study his longer works.


Not at all the central take-away, but it was interesting to me that he had an astute critique of Buber as a theologian while giving him credit for being one of the popularizers of Zionism. Buber's bi-national strain of Zionism would hardly be recognizable as Zionism at all in the current political terrain.


In this (and elsewhere in
...more
Ana
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The essays suggest strong theological proposals without specific denominational value. Thus, quite universal.
Dave
Aug 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Inspiring, thought-provoking essays pulled from all periods of Rabbi Heschel's life. I connected most with his social justice works, but found plenty of inspiration from his strictly religious ones as well.

Many of the essays date from the time leading up to or immediately following the establishment of Israel, and are written for a Jewish audience. While I have some basic knowledge of Judaism, I was out of my element with a lot of the terminology, and had to go off to look things up repeatedly.
...more
Shannonpresler
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reading books by Heschel can feel a bit overwhelming. This book is filled with short essays. They are much more manageable for those of us who need to take in the ocean one cup at a time. Brilliant, witty, quickly read, slowly digested.
Jimmacc
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Rabbi Heschel is one of the two writers who inspire me to be a better Jew every time I read their material
Louis
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If ever there was a tile more descriptive of a book's contents ...
Sylvia
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love these essays by Heschel (Jewish Rabbi, teacher, author, activist, etc.). Great thinker...lived with great passion and courage...writes poetically. Essay, Yom Kippur is one of my favorites.
Steven I. Pousty
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book I turn to for inspiration and comfort
Mark
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sarg
Heschel writes on Jewish theology and culture in a way that makes it universal.
Lee
Nov 04, 2014 added it
I confess that I didn't read every essay in this collection, but the ones I did read were excellent. Particularly thought-provoking for me were Heschel's essays on Jewish-Christian relations.
Susan Holtz
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a magnificent book. The title is conspicuous on the bus.
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Heschel was a descendant of preeminent rabbinic families of Europe, both on his father's (Moshe Mordechai Heschel, who died of influenza in 1916) and mother's (Reizel Perlow Heschel) side, and a descendant of Rebbe Avrohom Yehoshua Heshl of Apt and other dynasties. He was the youngest of six children including his siblings: Sarah, Dvora Miriam, Esther Sima, Gittel, and Jacob. In his teens he recei ...more
“The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song, and man cannot live without a song.

Prayer may not save us. But prayer may make us worthy of being saved.”
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“Who is a Jew? A person whose integrity decays when unmoved by the knowledge of wrong done to other people.” 7 likes
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