Read Eliezer Berkovits, “Dr. A.J. Heschel’s Theology of Pathos,” TRADITION 6:2 (Spring-Summer 1964)
Todd Berman’s essay below has generated a number of responses, to which he has replied. Read here.
Excellent defense of Heschel, and I agree. I wonder if Berkowitz ever experienced real contact with the Spiritual World, which would have led him to understand emotions of all types do not require a physical body, but can be held by a soul, including the souls of the righteous departed, even after leaving the body.
The emotional connection between the Eternal and every human is inherent in each human being being part animal and part the Spirit of the Eternal, with all good people allowing the spiritual portion to dominate. The prophet appears to have an even greater balancer for the Spirit than most good people and can communicate with the Eternal more frequently and easier.
The relationship is like a wise parent to a child. And a wise parent handles his emotions with intelligence to benefit the child and the entire family. So, the Eternal’s love and intelligence are both infinitely greater than that of any human being.
And Rabbi Heschel did teach at the Jewish Institute of Religion, as well as HUC, and had a New York City Central Park West apartment, that he kept when leasing Cincinnati for New York and JTS, and continuing to teach at JIR. State Department records may show that HUC made for his move to the USA, while Stephen S. Wise, with his FDR-connection, smoothed the way at the State Department.
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