The Wisdom of Heschel

Abraham Joshua Heschel; Translated by Ruth M. Goodhill

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

388 Pages



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"Philosophy may be defined as the art of asking the right questions . . . Awareness of the problem outlives all solutions. The answers are questions in disguise, every new answer giving rise to new questions." This example of Rabbi Heschel's thought and manner of expression, familiar to the readers of his many books, serves as an epigraph to The Wisdom of Heschel.

As Ruth Goodhill states in her foreword, "These selections from the works of the prophetic giant of the twentieth century, Abraham Joshua Heschel, represent my personal response to his writings. This book, conceived during his lifetime, is offered as an introduction to his thought and to his profound understanding of the agonies of modern society."

Most of the selections are taken from God in Search of Man, The Insecurity of Freedom, Man Is Not Alone, The Sabbath, The Prophets, and Who Is Man? Among the categories in which the excerpts have been grouped are "Questions Man Asks," "Man's Needs," "Caring for Our Old," "Teaching Our Young," "Law," "The Sabbath," and "One World."


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The Wisdom of Heschel
Questions Man AsksWHAT IS THE meaning of my being? ... My quest--man's quest--is not for theoretical knowledge about myself ... What I look for is not how to gain a firm hold on myself and on life, but primarily how to live a life that would deserve and evoke an eternal Amen.IT IS NOT ENOUGH for me to be able to say "I am"; I want to know who I am, and in relation to whom I live. It is not enough for me to ask questions; I want to know how to answer the one question that seems to encompass everything I face: What am I here for?IT IS NOT ONLY the question of how to justify
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