THE SABBATH by Abraham Joshua Heschel. p. 3 Yet to have more does not mean to be more. The power we attain in the world of space terminates abruptly at. By Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Reprinted with permission from The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, published Shabbat as a Reminder of Creation. IN HESCHEL’S THE SABBATH. When Abraham Joshua Heschel published The Sabbath (), 1 Jews faced a new reality in America: far more suburban than.

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All week there is only hope of redemption. There is much enthusiasm for the idea that God is present in the universe, but that idea is taken to mean His presence in space rather than in time, in nature rather than in history; as if He were a thing, not a spirit.

The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern. He offers his views as to Judaism being a pattern for life. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The condition runs so deep, in fact, that Heschel describes our reality itself as being comprised of tangible objects: It is also in this chapter that Heschel walks back slightly from a claim he made in chapter five, namely that humanity works with God as co-sanctifier of the Sabbath.

In a discussion of how humanity and the Sabbath should be joined, he makes allusions to two biblical passages traditionally used in marriage rites: Retrieved from ” https: In technical civilization, we expend time to gain space.

In chapter nine, Judaism is portrayed as distinct from other religious traditions in its emphasis on sacred times. There are many who have acquired a high degree of political and social liberty, but only very few are not enslaved to things.


A musical performance can also be equally spiritually transformative. During his long career, Abraham Heschel tried to both teach and exemplify classical Jewish learning in a way that would ring more clearly in the modern Jewish ear. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self. Because heschfl books like The Sabbath, Heschel became one of the most influential modern philosophers of religion, acclaimed by Christian groups as well as Jewish ones.

The Sabbath Quotes

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Romans held no view of an afterlife, so eternity had to be found in what was left behind. In chapter eight, Heschel establishes the Sabbath as a glimpse of the world to come, of eternity. Heschel’s daughter, Susannah, has objected to the adoption of her sabbzth name in this context.

Even religions are frequently dominated by the notion that the deity resides in space, within particular localities like mountains, forests, trees or stones, which are, therefore, singled out as holy places; the deity is bound to a particular land; holiness a quality associated with things of space, and the primary question is: Heschel identifies this created absence as menuhaa stillness and peace.

He is very clear in this chapter, using short, stark language: Abraham Joshua Heschel at Wikipedia’s sister projects. You are commenting using your WordPress.

The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel

This coveting is a deep and passionate longing for the Sabbath, and the peace its observance instills. A recurring theme in this work is the radical amazement that people feel when experiencing the presence of the Divine.

He was descended from preeminent European rabbis on both sides of his family. The reverence for the sacred image, for the sacred monument or place, is not only indigenous to most religions, it has even been retained by men of all hescehl, all nations, pious, superstitious or even antireligious; they all continue hescchel pay homage to banners and flags, to national shrines, to monuments erected to kings or heroes.

However, this did not prevent him from being on sabbatj front lines of social activism in the U. Heschel’s sister Esther was killed in a German bombing. The Rabbi of the story holds to the doctrine of the primacy of the spiritual, but when he emerges from the cave, a voice from heaven corrects him.


Heschel explicated many facets of Jewish thought, including studies on medieval Jewish philosophy, Kabbalahand Hasidic philosophy. Heschel here notes that Rome is often referred to as The Eternal City. One day a week, we are called to contemplate the mystery of creation, rather than focus on the created things themselves. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In its own right it can be the subject of intense study and analysis, and provides insight into the relationship between God and Man beyond the world of Judaism and for all Monotheism.

Is civilization essentially evil, to be rejected and condemned?

So it is with a musical performance. We acquire things that occupy space which we admire. Rather, it is paradoxically the creation of an absence.

The power we attain in the world of space terminates abruptly at the borderline of time.

The Sabbath Quotes by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Thus the essence of the Sabbath is completely detached from the world of space. Heschel, a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Americaauthored a number of widely read books on Jewish philosophy and was active in the civil rights movement. Section three discusses his views of how a Jew should understand the nature of Judaism as a religion. Heschel then goes on to explore the problems of doubts and faith; what Judaism means by teaching that God is one; the essence of humanity and the problem of human needs; the definition of religion in general and of Judaism in particular; and human yearning for spirituality.