But I feel sure that every sensitive reader of this book will find it filled with many illuminating flashes of insight, with language that is always striking, occasionally genuinely poetic, and marked throughout by the deepest earnestness and sincerity. Already a member? Man is needed, he is a need of God.” It is thus that man’s profoundest yearning is satisfied. While the second part, "The Problem of Living," lapses occasionally into "Great Chain of Being" thinking, where humans are considered as above other creatures, on the whole (especially in the final chapter), it outlines a way of life that is deeply needed in the world. An air of expectancy hovers over life. It is, instead, one of those rare works which will constantly call the reader back, if only to glance over a page or two. This means no one is ever truly alone, as God is everywhere. June 1st 1976 Do not those who will want to argue that this is, nevertheless, not philosophy, but poetry, have an unnecessarily restricted conception of what philosophy is? While I lack Heschel's erudition and his confidence in addressing religious questions, I share his sense that the universe arises from and is sustained by a divine Source, which goes by many names, and which we may perceive in the living world and in our own depths. He is rather the God of the thirteen attributes, merciful and long-suffering. That moment arrives with the creation of … Welcome back. In the fundamentally secular environment of contemporary American Judaism, in which almost every conceivable kind of activity is given precedence over Torah and worship, Professor Heschel has written a profoundly moving religious book. One can, at best, hope to help others to have for themselves the direct experience of this beauty. What a fantastic read. God needs man. One cannot communicate discursively the beauty of a poem, or the transcendent loveliness of a symphony. 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. I found myself frequently wanting to share passages with my spouse. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Professor Heschel believes that the subject matter of religion is of such character as to make discursive treatment totally inappropriate. God is not an abstract concept derived from philosophical investigations. You'll get access to all of the Rich, dense, brilliant. This guy doesn't make much sense. So many great quotes in this book. Religion begins when man feels transcendent amazement at his own being, at the being of others, at the very existence of the world. And in the divine scheme of things, as Heschel portrays it, man is needed, needed on a cosmic scale. One might question whether the book has been given an accurate subtitle. It opens with an exploration of the ineffable—Heschel’s word for the reality that lies beyond people’s ability to articulate it. A hefty feast for your soul. I still needed a dictionary open while reading it. If there is anyone out there trying to answer the tougher questions around faith and your purpose I would definitely recommend reading this book. The first part of the book, "The Problem of God," begins, as we all do, in wonder at all that is beyond words. For Heschel, the issue is not whether God exists, but whether people acknowledge there is a God. Lewis. No man proves that his beloved loves him. He proceeds from an intuition of God’s presence to his essence. Even most religious men will prefer the classical proofs for God’s existence. A wonderfully written book that could easily win readers of any religious confession - as well as atheists. Intensely earnest and warmingly sincere, Rabbi Abraham Heschel’s books – including Man Is Not Alone – are loving friends that one is drawn back to, time and time again. Though God’s nature is ineffable Professor Heschel does discover one crucially important thing about Him. 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.”, “Usually we regard as meaningful that which can be expressed, and as meaningless that which cannot be expressed. Naturalists and positivists will insist that if God exists His presence must be empirically verifiable. His only other choice is to live in the circumscribed world of the empirically verifiable, a world which has neither goodness, nor beauty, nor the vision of God. He was the youngest of six children including his siblings: Sarah, Dvora Miriam, Esther Sima, Gittel, and Jacob. We pass through the various preliminary stages until finally “a tremor seizes our limbs; our nerves are struck, quiver like strings; our whole being bursts into shudders. Humanity is endowed with the ability to fulfill what God demands. $3.75. Rivers run deep here, friends, but if you enjoy thinking deeply about the nature of God, faith, religion, and life, this is an excellent pick! I liked this book for its simplicity and its truth. It does so with such elegance and prose. Genuine religious experience is rare in our society, but Dr. Heschel is one of the few chosen people who seems truly to have found the way to God. Man Is Not Alone is a systematic exposition of Jewish ethics, faith, mysticism, and prayer. This may not be philosophy in any strict or technical sense, yet it accomplishes skillfully the task which every philosopher sets himself. It is not mere chaos and confusion. Heschel said God requires people to act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with him, and revere the Sabbath. This is a book I'll be keeping on my shelf and re-reading often. For Heschel, man is not alone because God is in search of man. For as he is described in this book man, like all the other animals, has many needs, but he alone needs to be needed. About 3.9 stars I'd say (just...this five star system does not work for me. Man Is Not Alone is a profound, beautifully written examination of the ingredients of piety: how man senses God's presence, explores it, accepts it, and builds life upon it. Man and Woman in the Garden … 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” 18 The LORD God also said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. It is one word: GOD. As my marginalia, underlining, passages copied in my personal journal, and time spent contemplating lines indicate, I love this book. Readers of this book will have the opportunity of following the road which the author has illuminated. The monthly magazine of opinion. We do not really know ourselves. Through careful writings and sensitive reporting he has opened up for his readers the hidden aspects of divinity. The best articulation of the religious experience I have yet read. Not an emotion, a stir within us, but a power, a marvel beyond us, tearing the world apart.” At the moment of high ecstasy we know that He exists, that He is the ground of all existence. After Heschel resurrects people’s sense of the ineffable, he urges them to revel in the awe and wonder that the world and they themselves exist. Yet when we seek to express what it is that we have discovered we are tongue-tied. The parts that I took exception to were few and not worth discounting the brilliance of this work. I am not sure (any more than any man can be sure) that Dr. Heschel has given us the true picture of God, man, and their relationship. Heschel wrote that human beings must stand in radical amazement that they exist at all. What a fantastic read. We have not really understood our world. From this start, Heschel develops an understanding of faith that is much more complete than others I've encountered. Endeavoring to read from a variety of religious traditions is highly valuable for spiritual growth. Very uplifting. As R’ Heschel would say it is sublime! He urges people to live a pious life. 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. I had heard that reading Abraham Heschel was quite the treat, and this did not disappoint. While this book is highly sophisticated literature (had me reaching for a dictionary more than once), it never felt like work to read. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. There is in us more kinship with the divine than we are able to believe. Such as this, p.245, "There is an eternal cry in the world: God is beseeching man. Start your risk free trial with unlimited access. He is not a remote and self-sufficient being, according to Heschel. People are compelled to pay attention to that which lies beyond their grasp. Wow. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. People must open themselves to encounters with God. Skeptics will sneer and demand proof. With a sudden shock we discover that all we normally take for granted is mysterious. The concept of the ineffable accounts for the diversity of humanity’s attempts to describe reality in words. 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. God’s nature cannot be expressed. Sometimes our beloved betrays us, and the apparently beautiful turns out on closer inspection to be ugly. In his teens he received a traditional yeshiva education, and obtained traditional semicha, rabbinical ordination.
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