Frases de Abraham J. Heschel

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Abraham J. Heschel

Data de nascimento: 11. Janeiro 1907
Data de falecimento: 23. Dezembro 1972

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Abraham Joshua Heschel foi um rabino austro-americano.

Citações Abraham J. Heschel

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„The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: We forfeit the right to worship God as long as we continue to humiliate negroes. … The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity. Telegram to President John F. Kennedy (16 June 1963)

„The account of our experiences, the record of debit and credit, is reflected in the amount of trust or distrust we display towards life and humanity.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: The account of our experiences, the record of debit and credit, is reflected in the amount of trust or distrust we display towards life and humanity. There are those who maintain that the good is within our reach everywhere; you have but to stretch out your arms and you will grasp it. But there are others who, intimidated by fraud and ugliness, sense scorn and ambushes everywhere and misgive all things to come. Those who trust develop a finer sense for the good, even at the hight cost of blighted hopes. Charmed by the spell of love, faith is, as it were, imposed upon their heart. "The Holy Dimension", p. 338

„The perceptibility of things is not the end of their being.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: The perceptibility of things is not the end of their being. Their surface is available to our tools, their depth is immune to our inquisitiveness. Things are both available and immune. We penetrate their physical givenness, we cannot intuit their secret. We measure what they exhibit, we know how they function, but we also know that we do not know what they are, what they stand for, what they imply. Ch. 5<!-- Disavowal of transcendence, p. 85 -->

„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

„Happiness is not a synonym for self-satisfaction, complacency, or smugness. Self-satisfaction breeds futility and despair.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: Essential to education for being human is to cultivate a sense for the inexpedient, to disclose the fallacy of absolute expediency. God's voice may sound feeble to our conscience. Yet there is a divine cunning in history which seems to prove that the wages of absolute expediency is disaster. Happiness is not a synonym for self-satisfaction, complacency, or smugness. Self-satisfaction breeds futility and despair. Self-satisfaction is the opiate of fools. Ch. 5<!-- Existence and expediency, p. 86 -->

„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
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

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„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
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 -->

„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

„Our concern with environment cannot be reduced to what can be used, to what can be grasped.“

— 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 -->

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

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
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 -->

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„Awe is more than an emotion; it is a way of understanding, insight into a meaning greater than ourselves.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
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 -->

„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

„There is neither advance nor service without faith.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: There is neither advance nor service without faith. Nobody can rationally explain why he should sacrifice his life and his happiness for the sake of the good. The conviction that I must obey the ethical imperatives is not derived from logical argument but originates from an intuitive certitude, in a certitude of faith. There is no conspiracy against reason, no random obstinacy, no sluggish inertia of mind or smug self-assurance entrenched behind the walls of believing. Faith does not detach a man from thinking, it does not suspend reason. It is opposed not to knowledge but to backwardness and dullness, to indifferent aloofness to the essence of living. … It is a distortion to regard reason and faith as alternatives. Reason is a necessary coefficient of faith. Faith without explication by reason is mute, reason without faith is deaf. There can be a true symbiosis of reason and faith. "The Holy Dimension", p. 338

„The time for the kingdom may be far off, but the task is plain: to retain our share in God in spite of peril and contempt. There is a war to wage against the vulgar, the glorification of the absurd, a war that is incessant, universal.“

— Abraham Joshua Heschel
Context: The time for the kingdom may be far off, but the task is plain: to retain our share in God in spite of peril and contempt. There is a war to wage against the vulgar, the glorification of the absurd, a war that is incessant, universal. Loyal to the presence of the ultimate in the common, we may be able to make it clear that man is more than man, that in doing the finite he may perceive the infinite. "The Meaning of Jewish Existence" in The Torch (1950)

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