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Abraham Joshua Heschel

Date de naissance: 11. janvier 1907
Date de décès: 23. décembre 1972

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Abraham Joshua Heschel est un rabbin Massorti, théologien et penseur juif américain, né le 11 janvier 1907 à Varsovie, alors rattachée à l'Empire russe, et décédé à New York le 23 décembre 1972.

Citations Abraham Joshua Heschel

„Religion is critique of all satisfaction.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: Religion is critique of all satisfaction. Its end is joy, but its beginning is discontent, detesting boasts, smashing idols. It began in Ur Kasdim, in the seat of a magnificent civilization. Yet Abraham said, "No," breaking the idols, breaking away. And so every one of us must begin by saying no to all visible, definable entities pretending to be triumphant, ultimate. The ultimate is a challenge, not an assertion. Dogmas are allusions, not descriptions. "No Religion is an Island", p. 264

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„In the realm of faith, God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: In the realm of faith, God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. To rationalists He is something after which they seek in the darkness with the light of their reason. To men of faith He is the light. "The Holy Dimension", p. 337. Heschel made similar statements in earlier writings: The great insight is not attained when we ponder or infer the beyond from the here. In the realm of the ineffable, 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. Man Is Not Alone : A Philosophy of Religion (1951)

„There is a glory, an aura, that lies about all beings, a spiritual setting of reality.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: In English the phrase that a person has "a presence" is hard to define. There are people whose being here and now is felt, even though they do not display themselves in action and speech. They have a "presence." … Of a person whose outwardness communicates something of his indwelling power or greatness, whose soul is radiant and conveys itself without words, we say he has presence. Standing face to face with the world, we often sense a presence which surpasses our ability to comprehend. The world is too much with us. It is crammed with marvel. There is a glory, an aura, that lies about all beings, a spiritual setting of reality. To the religious man it is as if things stood with their backs to him, their faces turned to God, as if the glory of things consisted in their being an object of divine care. Ch. 5<!-- The sense of the ineffable, p. 90 -->

„Faith is an awareness of divine mutuality and companionship, a form of communion between God and man.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: Faith is an awareness of divine mutuality and companionship, a form of communion between God and man. It is not a psychical quality, something that exists in the mind only, but a force from the beyond. "The Holy Dimension", p. 331

„The rush of reason is an effort of limited strength.
Faith is not the miniature of thinking but its model, not its shadow but its root.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: Reason is not the measure of all things, not the all-inclusive power in the inner life of man. The powers of will and emotion, the realm of the subconscious lie beyond the scope of knowledge. The rush of reason is an effort of limited strength. Faith is not the miniature of thinking but its model, not its shadow but its root. It is a spiritual force in man, not dealing with the given, concrete limited, but directed upon the transcendent. It is the spring of our creative actions. "The Holy Dimension", p. 337

„Faith is sensitiveness to what transcends nature, knowledge and will, awareness of the ultimate, alertness to the holy dimension of all reality.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: Faith is sensitiveness to what transcends nature, knowledge and will, awareness of the ultimate, alertness to the holy dimension of all reality. Faith is a force in man, lying deeper than the stratum of reason and its nature cannot be defined in abstract, static terms. To have faith is not to infer the beyond from the wretched here, but to perceive the wonder that is here and to be stirred by the desire to integrate the self into the holy order of living. It is not a deduction but an intuition, not a form of knowledge, of being convinced without proof, but the attitude of mind toward ideas whose scope is wider than its own capacity to grasp. Such alertness grows from the sense for the meaningful, for the marvel of matter, for the core of thoughts. It is begotten in passionate love for the significance of all reality, in devotion to the ultimate meaning which is only God. By our very existence we are in dire need of meaning, and anything that calls for meaning is always an allusion to Him. We live by the certainty that we are not dust in the wind, that our life is related to the ultimate, the meaning of all meanings. And the system of meanings that permeates the universe is like an endless flight of stairs. Even when the upper stairs are beyond our sight, we constantly rise toward the distant goal. "The Holy Dimension", p. 330

„We live by the certainty that we are not dust in the wind, that our life is related to the ultimate, the meaning of all meanings.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: Faith is sensitiveness to what transcends nature, knowledge and will, awareness of the ultimate, alertness to the holy dimension of all reality. Faith is a force in man, lying deeper than the stratum of reason and its nature cannot be defined in abstract, static terms. To have faith is not to infer the beyond from the wretched here, but to perceive the wonder that is here and to be stirred by the desire to integrate the self into the holy order of living. It is not a deduction but an intuition, not a form of knowledge, of being convinced without proof, but the attitude of mind toward ideas whose scope is wider than its own capacity to grasp. Such alertness grows from the sense for the meaningful, for the marvel of matter, for the core of thoughts. It is begotten in passionate love for the significance of all reality, in devotion to the ultimate meaning which is only God. By our very existence we are in dire need of meaning, and anything that calls for meaning is always an allusion to Him. We live by the certainty that we are not dust in the wind, that our life is related to the ultimate, the meaning of all meanings. And the system of meanings that permeates the universe is like an endless flight of stairs. Even when the upper stairs are beyond our sight, we constantly rise toward the distant goal. "The Holy Dimension", p. 330

„The most fatal trap into which thinking may fall is the equation of existence and expediency.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: Man is naturally self-centered and he is inclined to regard expediency as the supreme standard for what is right and wrong. However, we must not convert an inclination into an axiom that just as man's perceptions cannot operate outside time and space, so his motivations cannot operate outside expediency; that man can never transcend his own self. The most fatal trap into which thinking may fall is the equation of existence and expediency. Ch. 5<!-- Existence and expediency, p. 85 -->

„New insight begins when satisfaction comes to an end, when all that has been seen, said, or done looks like a distortion.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: New insight begins when satisfaction comes to an end, when all that has been seen, said, or done looks like a distortion. … Man's true fulfillment depends on communion with that which transcends him. Ch. 5<!-- Existence and expediency, p. 86 -->

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„Language has been reduced to labels, talk has become double-talk. We are in the process of losing faith in the reality of words.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: One of the results of the rapid depersonalization of our age is a crisis of speech, profanation of language. We have trifled with the name of God, we have taken the name and the word of the Holy in vain. Language has been reduced to labels, talk has become double-talk. We are in the process of losing faith in the reality of words. Yet prayer can happen only when words reverberate with power and inner life, when uttered as an earnest, as a promise. On the other hand, there is a high degree of obsolescence in the traditional language of the theology of prayer. Renewal of prayer calls for a renewal of language, of cleansing the words, of revival of meanings. The strength of faith is in silence, and in words that hibernate and wait. Uttered faith must come out as a surplus of silence, as the fruit of lived faith, of enduring intimacy. Theological education must deepen privacy, strive for daily renewal of innerness, cultivate ingredients of religious existence, reverence and responsibility. "No Religion is an Island", p. 264

„The proper relation is a minimum of creed and a maximum of faith.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays (1997), Context: There are many creeds but only one faith. Creeds may change, develop, and grow flat, while the substance of faith remains the same in all ages. The overgrowth of creed may bring about the disintegration of that substance. The proper relation is a minimum of creed and a maximum of faith. "The Holy Dimension", p. 335 - 336

„Some tacit assumptions of the theory of insufficiency remain problematic.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: Being is either open to, or dependent on, what is more than being, namely, the care for being, or it is a cul-de-sac, to be explained in terms of self-sufficiency. The weakness of the first possibility is in its reference to a mystery; the weakness of the second possibility is in its pretension to offer a rational explanation. Nature, the sum of its laws, may be sufficient to explain in its own terms how facts behave within nature; it does not explain why they behave at all. Some tacit assumptions of the theory of insufficiency remain problematic. Ch. 5<!-- Pathos, p. 91 -->

„Transcendence is not an article of faith. It is what we come upon immediately when standing face to face with reality.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: Exclusive manipulation results in the dissolution of awareness of all transcendence. Promise becomes a pretext, God becomes a symbol, truth a fiction, loyalty tentative, the holy a mere convention. Man’s very existence devours all transcendence. Instead of facing the grandeur of the cosmos, he explains it away; instead of beholding, he takes a picture; instead of hearing a voice, he tapes it. He does not see what he is able to face. There is a suspension of man’s sense of the holy. His mind is becoming a wall instead of being a door open to what is larger than the scope of his comprehension. He locks himself out of the world by reducing all reality to mere things and all relationship to mere manipulation. Transcendence is not an article of faith. It is what we come upon immediately when standing face to face with reality. Ch. 5<!-- Disavowal of transcendence, p. 84 -->

„Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: Awe is more than an emotion; it is a way of understanding, insight into a meaning greater than ourselves. The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe. Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe. Ch. 5<!-- The sense of the ineffable, p. 88 - 89 -->

„Thought is not bred apart from experience or from inner surroundings.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Who Is Man? (1965), Context: The sense of meaning is not born in ease and sloth. It comes after bitter trials, disappointments in the glitters, foundering, strandings. It is the marrow from the bone. There is no manna in our wilderness. Thought is not bred apart from experience or from inner surroundings. Thinking is living, and no thought is bred in an isolated cell in the brain. No thought is an island. Ch. 5<!-- Manipulation and appreciation, p. 81 -->

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