HESCHEL: quotes 2

Abraham Joshua Heschel quotes

“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine, but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”
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“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows
with the ability to say no to oneself.”
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“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.”
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“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”
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“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor 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, God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism
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“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.
The Wisdom of Heschel”
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“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.”
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“Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”
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“Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets
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“The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song, and man cannot live without a song.
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Prayer may not save us. But prayer may make us worthy of being saved.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays
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“When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.”
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“A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”
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“The worship of reason is arrogance and betrays a lack of intelligence. The rejection of reason is cowardice and betrays a lack of faith.”
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“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
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“A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.”
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“The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.”
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“We can never sneer at the stars, mock the dawn, or scoff at the totality of being.”
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“Prayer begins at the edge of emptiness.”
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“Remember that there is meaning beyond absurdity. Know that every deed counts, that every word is power…Above all, remember that you must build your life as if it were a work of art.”
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“The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion
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“Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.”
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“The problem to be faced is: how to combine loyalty to one’s own tradition with reverence for different traditions.”
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“…morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”
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“Prayer begins where our power ends.”
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“God is either of no importance, or of supreme importance.”
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“I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendously surprised, surprised at life, at ideas. This is to me the supreme Hasidic imperative: Don’t be old. Don’t be stale.”
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“There are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive and endlessly precious. Judaism teaches us to be attached to holiness in time; to learn how to consecrate sanctuaries that emerge from the magnificent stream of a year.”
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“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.”
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“to become aware of the ineffable is to part company with words…the tangent to the curve of human experience lies beyond the limits of language. the world of things we perceive is but a veil. It’s flutter is music, its ornament science, but what it conceals is inscrutable. It’s silence remains unbroken; no words can carry it away. Sometimes we wish the world could cry and tell us about that which made it pregnant with fear–filling grandeur.
Sometimes we wish our own heart would speak of that which made it heavy with wonder.
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“Mundus vult decipi’—the world wants to be deceived. To live without deception presupposes standards beyond the reach of most people whose existence is largely shaped by compromise, evasion and mutual accommodation. Could they face their weakness, their vanity and selfishness, without a mask?”
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Author: Roger - Dr Roger Prentice

Now I write, teach & coach mainly about interfaith as inter-spirituality - and how we can grow closer to our True Self. . As anyone who knows anything about IPF will realize my energy is curtailed - so I am concentrating primarily on 'inter-spirituality'. . In the past I would have said that: . 1) I run courses and give talks at conferences and in universities and colleges in the UK, China, USA, Canada, Scandinavia etc. . 2) I provide materials, outlines and lessons for Schools. . 3) My range of interests include personal development, learning and teaching, photography and film, the arts generally, spirituality and educational practice and theory. . 4) At the same time I continue developing the human-centred studies SunWALK PDS (People Development System) - a whole-person, high-achievement model for individuals, and for use in, NGOs, schools and other organizations. . 5) The key question that continues to animate me and my work remains, "What is it to be fully and positively human?" . Contact me via onesummit AT gmail DOT com (replace At with@ etc.). . All good wishes Roger (Dr Roger Prentice) . For those interested; My first degree is in English and Education. My masters is in Adult and Community Education. My doctorate presented a new holistic meta-model of education called SunWALK.

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