Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity Essays

Abraham Joshua Heschel; Edited by Susannah Heschel

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

464 Pages



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Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the great spiritual minds of our time, lectured and published widely. Arriving in the United States in flight from the brutalities of Nazi Germany, he never forgot that the search for the divine, and for spirituality itself, is inseparable from the search for a just society. As a revered and beloved teacher, he impressed on his students (first at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, then during his many years as Professor of Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America) the spiritual imperatives of prayer, of ecumenism, and of social decency.

This first collection of his essays—compiled, edited, and with an introduction by his daughter, Susannah Heschel, Abba Hillel Silver Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland—is arranged in five groups: Existence and Celebration", "No Time for Neutrality," "Toward a Just Society," "No Religion Is an Island," and "The Holy Dimension." Among the notable pieces in this sweeping and essential collection are a tribute to Reinhold Niebuhr and a discussion of the moral theologian Bernard Haring. An appendix offers a written transcript of Carl Stern's famous television interview with Heschel, recorded shortly before his death.


Existence and Celebration
To Be a Jew: What Is It?
The Moment at Sinai
Existence and Celebration
Hasidism as a New Approach to Torah
Israel as Memory
We Cannot Force People to Believe
A Time for Renewal
Pikuach Neshama: To Save a Soul
On the Day of Hate

No Time for Neutrality
No Time for Neutrality
Symbolism and Jewish Faith
The Spirit of Jewish Prayer
Toward an Understanding of Halacha
Yom Kippur
Teaching Religion to American Jews
Jewish Theology
The Mystical Element in Judaism
A Preface to an Understanding of Revelation
God, Torah, and Israel
The Meaning of This War (World War II)
0The Plight of Russian Jews
The Moral Dilemma of the Space Age
Required: A Moral Ombudsman
The Reasons for My Involvement in the Peace Movement
In Search of Exaltation
A Prayer for Peace

No Religion Is an Island
No Religion Is an Island
Choose Life!
On Prayer
The God of Israel and the Christian Renewal
What Ecumenism Is
What We Might Do Together
Reinhold Niebuhr

The Holy Dimension
An Analysis of Piety
The Holy Dimension
THe Biblical View of Reality
Death as Homecoming

Interview at Notre Dame
Carl Stern's Interview with Dr. Heschel



Praise for Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity

"One of the truly great men of our day and age, a truly great prophet."—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"This essential collection captures the best of a leading thinker and doer who influenced many contemporaries with an ancient prophetic tradition that he made new."—Kirkus Reviews

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Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity

To Be a Jew: What Is It?
THERE IS A HIGH COST of living to be paid by a Jew. He has to be exalted in order to be normal in a world...

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