Abraham Joshua Heschel citations

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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.

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Citations Abraham Joshua Heschel

„Religion is critique of all satisfaction.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
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
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 are two primary ways in which mans relates himself to the world that surround him: manipulation and appreciation.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: There are two primary ways in which mans relates himself to the world that surround him: manipulation and appreciation. In the first way he sees in what surrounds him things to be handled, forces to be managed, objects to be put to use. In the second way he sees in what surrounds him things to be acknowledged, understood, valued or admired. Ch. 5<!-- Manipulation and appreciation, p. 82 -->

„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.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
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

„He whose soul is charged with awareness of God earns his inner livelihood by a passionate desire to pour his life into the eternal wells of love. … We do not live for our own sake. Life would be preposterous if not for the love it confers.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: He whose soul is charged with awareness of God earns his inner livelihood by a passionate desire to pour his life into the eternal wells of love. … We do not live for our own sake. Life would be preposterous if not for the love it confers. Faith implies no denial of evil, no disregard of danger, no whitewashing of the abominable. He whose heart is given to faith is mindful of the obstructive and awry, of the sinister and pernicious. It is God's strange dominion over both good and evil on which he relies. … Faith is not a mechanical insurance but a dynamic, personal act, flowing between the heart of man and the love of God. "The Holy Dimension", p. 333

„To a noble person it is a holy joy to remember, an overwhelming thrill to be grateful, while to a person whose character is neither rich nor strong, gratitude is a most painful sensation.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: Only those who are spiritually imitators, only people who are afraid to be grateful and too weak to be loyal, have nothing but the present moment. The mark of nobility is inherited possession. To a noble person it is a holy joy to remember, an overwhelming thrill to be grateful, while to a person whose character is neither rich nor strong, gratitude is a most painful sensation. The secret of wisdom is never to get lost in a momentary mood or passion, never to forget a friendship over a momentary grievance, never to lose sight of the lasting values over a transitory episode. "The Holy Dimension", p. 334

„He who is satisfied has never truly craved, and he who craves for the light of God neglects his ease for ardor, his life for love, knowing that contentment is the shadow not the light. The great yearning that sweeps eternity is a yearning to praise, a yearning to serve.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: He who is satisfied has never truly craved, and he who craves for the light of God neglects his ease for ardor, his life for love, knowing that contentment is the shadow not the light. The great yearning that sweeps eternity is a yearning to praise, a yearning to serve. And when the waves of that yearning swell in our souls all the barriers are pushed aside: the crust of callousness, the hysteria of vanity, the orgies of arrogance. For it is not the I that trembles alone, it is not a stir out of my soul but an eternal flutter that sweeps us all. No code, no law, even the law of God, can set a pattern for all of our living. It is not enough to have the right ideas. For the will, not reason, has the executive power in the realm of living. The will is stronger than reason and does not blindly submit to the dictates of rational principles. Reason may force the mind to accept intellectually its conclusions. Yet what is the power that will make me love to do what I ought to do? Man Is Not Alone : A Philosophy Of Religion (1951), Ch. 24 : The Great Yearning; The Yearning for Spiritual Living<!-- p. 259 -->

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„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
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

„I am an end as well as a means, and so is the world: an end as well as a means. My view of the world and my understanding of the self determine each other. The complete manipulation of the world results in the complete instrumentalization of the self.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: Our concern with environment cannot be reduced to what can be used, to what can be grasped. Environment includes not only the inkstand and the blotting paper, but also the impenetrable stillness in the air, the stars, the clouds, the quiet passing of time, the wonder of my own being. I am an end as well as a means, and so is the world: an end as well as a means. My view of the world and my understanding of the self determine each other. The complete manipulation of the world results in the complete instrumentalization of the self. Ch. 5<!-- The sense of the ineffable, p. 88 -->

„It seems as though we have arrived at a point in history, closest to the instincts and remotest from ideals, where the self stands like a wall between God and man.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: It seems as though we have arrived at a point in history, closest to the instincts and remotest from ideals, where the self stands like a wall between God and man. It is the period of a divine eclipse. We sail the seas, we count the stars, we split the atom, but never ask: Is there nothing but a dead universe and our reckless curiosity? Primitive man's humble ear was alert to the inwardness of the world, while the modern man is presumptuous enough to claim that he has the sole monopoly over soul and spirit, that he is the only thing alive in the universe. … But there is a dawn of wonder and surprise in our souls, when the things that surround us suddenly slip off the triteness with which we have endowed them, and their strangeness opens like a gap between them and our mind, a gap that no words can fill. … What is the incense of self-esteem to him who tastes in all things the flavor of the utterly unknown, the fragrance of what is beyond our senses? There are neither skies nor oceans, neither birds nor trees — there are only signs of what can never be perceived. And all power and beauty are mere straws in the fire of a pure man's vision. "The Holy Dimension", p. 329

„One of the results of the rapid depersonalization of our age is a crisis of speech, profanation of language.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
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

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„Faith is something that comes out of the soul. It is not an information that is absorbed but an attitude, existing prior to the formulation of any creed.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: Faith is something that comes out of the soul. It is not an information that is absorbed but an attitude, existing prior to the formulation of any creed. <!-- It is the insight that life is not a self-maintaining, private affair, not a chaos of whims and instincts, but an aspiration, a way not a refuge. "The Holy Dimension", p. 337

„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
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 greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior to our descending to the grave.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior to our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not only a hereafter but also a here-now. Man Is Not Alone : A Philosophy Of Religion (1951), Ch. 26 : The Pious Man; Our Destiny is to Aid

„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
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

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