Abraham Joshua Heschel Quotes

Abraham Joshua Heschel (January 11, 1907 – December 23, 1972) was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century. Heschel, a professor of Jewish mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, authored a number of widely read books on Jewish philosophy and was active in the Civil Rights Movement

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Abraham Joshua Heschel


Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. He is the light.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Worship is a way of seeing the world in the light of God.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


He who is satisfied has never truly craved, and he who craves for the light of God neglects his ease for ardor.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ....get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Man is a messenger who forgot the message.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendors of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


Philosophy may be defined as the art of asking the right question...awareness of the problem outlives all solutions. The answers are questions in disguise, every new answer giving rise to new questions.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


All events are secretly interrelated; the sweep of all we are doing reaches beyond the horizon of our comprehension.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


I would say about individuals, A Individual dies when they cease to to be surprised. I am surprised every morning when I see the sunshine again. When I see an act of evil I don't accomodate, I don't accomodate myself to the violence that goes on everywhere. I am still so surprised! That is why I am against it. We must learn to be surprised.

Abraham Joshua Heschel