Responding to his interlocutors, Todd Berman defends the position he staked out in his recent TRADITION essay, maintaining that as far as the doctrine of Divine Pathos goes, Abraham J. Heschel offered an authentic reading of Jewish tradition—against the critique penned by Eliezer Berkovits in TRADITION in 1964.
Todd Berman’s recent TRADITION essay defending Abraham J. Heschel from a 1964 critique penned in our pages by Eliezer Berkovits has helped to revive a six-decade old debate, no less relevant (or controversial) to today’s Jewish thought than it was back then. David Curwin and Rafi Eis push back on some aspects of Berman’s reading of Berkovits. The author will be afforded the right of reply in a few days.
TRADITION’s most recent issue featured a lengthy essay by Todd Berman exploring a nearly 6-decade-old critique launched by R. Eliezer Berkovits on Dr. Abraham J. Heschel’s “Theology of Pathos.” In brief, the debate centered on Heschel’s contention that God experiences emotion after a fashion. Berkovits’ essay aroused debate among our editorial board, and Berman’s essay has evoked similar sharp differences of opinion among our readers. In advance of an exchange of letters between critics and the author, TRADITION’s editor has done a deep-dive of our archives to helped to resurface some interesting related content and context.
TRADITION’s “Sources & Resources” column, under the editorship of Yitzchak Blau, has become a regular feature of our journal over the last number of years, and reflects the broader range of Torah study taking place in yeshivot and midrashot, and in our schools and synagogues. Visit the growing library of “Sources & Resources” which are now archived for your easy access.