Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging introduction to Heschel
I am not a consummate expert on Heschel, by any means, but I found these "Essential Writings" to be highly engaging and informative about Heschel's unique perspective on Judaism. This compilation made by his daughter provides just enough background information to give the beginning reader a sense of who Heschel was, why he believed the Jewish faith (and faith in general)...
Published on May 4, 2012 by Will Jerom

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review
I was disappointed. Too much commentary from his daughter, and then just scraps from the spiritual banquet table that is Abraham Heschel. I wanted to read the father, not the daughter. I dug into his writings in spite of this book. "God in Search of Man" and "The Prophets" are much better purchases. After reading these, I now think her selections often missed the mark...
Published on October 10, 2012 by DMK


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging introduction to Heschel, May 4, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
I am not a consummate expert on Heschel, by any means, but I found these "Essential Writings" to be highly engaging and informative about Heschel's unique perspective on Judaism. This compilation made by his daughter provides just enough background information to give the beginning reader a sense of who Heschel was, why he believed the Jewish faith (and faith in general) is so important. For Heschel, the spirit of prophetic Justice, of making the world better, had to be guided by an inner life of reverential awe and of prayer. Experts of Heschel may find parts of his writings missing here, for in a career of so many writings, how can one volume summarize it all? Suffice it to say this book is a good way to whet the appetite of those curious for more of Heschel's thought.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prophetic reflection of what the Jewish faith offers the world, October 25, 2011
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
As a Quaker (Chrisitian) I have longed for an accessible book of writings about the Jewish faith that I can use to deepen my own understanding and draw inspiration from. I learned about this book from Rabbi Michael Lerner of the progressive Jewish magazine, Tikkun. I have huge admiration for those Jews who can use their faith to mount a balanced and dignified prophetic critique of the plight of the Palestinians. Lerner does that, but he counts Heschel as his mentor, and being now half way thorugh this book, relishing it like a fine malt whisky, I can see why Heschel is so highly acclaimed.

What this book does for me is that it brings up to date the prophetic tradition of such likes as Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Amos. It shows that the message of those crusty old bearded characters in their sandals are still acutely relevant to us today. Heschel places God at the heart of his activism (which included standing side by side with Martin Luther King). I find this powerful, because there is a lot of talk these days about "Godless spirituality", and I don't find that satisfying because it misses out on the very flesh and blood human nature of the love that we are talking about, and to which the activist may be pushed to rest back into, and experience.

Another thing I am finding in Heschel is his depth of reflection on Jewish community. I was raised on the Scottish Isle of Lewis, and the same as Heschel says for the Jews could be said for our Presbyterian people. For example, p. 110, "Being a Jew makes anonymity impossible. A Jew represents, stands for, proclaims - even in spite of himself. The world never sees the Jew as an individual but rather as a representative of a whole tradition, of a whole people. A Jew is never alone." And what I like about that is the depth to which it surpasses individualistic spirituality. As that great Jewish mystical teacher, Jesus said, "When two or three are gathered together, I am there." This is not just about me, or you: it is about us, about the community. That is something that the Jewish tradition(s) can teach us so profoundly from their heart. And in saying that, I speak as one who believes we need to go beyond interfaith "dialogue" (in the head), and onwards, as Heschel demonstrates, to what I call interfaith APPRECIATION (in the heart), recognising that we should be wary of criticising one another's traditions from the outside until we find ourselves able to love what is truly spiritual in them from within.

One last point: this book is compiled with a commentary by Heschel's daughter, Susannah Heschel. She clearly has a similar depth as the old man. I find reading of the love with which she speaks of "my father" as she expounds his life and ideas deeply touching as an example of what father-daughter relationship can aspire to. There is no sense in her commentary of slavishly trotting out the old man's ideas. Rather, there is a sense of her having reached a stage in life where she can stand in her father's lineage as an equal, and speak of him as a profound friend.

This book is a modern spiritual classic. In an era where many of us, myself very much included, are critical of what the state of Israel does to the Palestinians, I would urge that this book is read and used to reveal that state politics and prophetic spirituality are far from being the same thing. As Heschel says in the passage I quote above, "A Jew represents, stands for, proclaims - even in spite of himself." This is a hallmark of authentic spirituality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening, October 8, 2013
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
I found this book, as well as others by Heschel, in the Thomas Merton section of the Abbey of Gethsemani bookshop. I will be forever grateful to Merton for introducing me to Heschel. This book by his daughter opened my eyes to a whole new world of philosophy and social awareness. One quote that I personally thought summed up so many aspects of life is, "Racial prejudice gives you the most amount of hate for the least amount of reason." I have ruminated on that one quote for many many hours. I feel this is a must read for anyone exploring, themselves, religion, or life in general.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review, October 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
I was disappointed. Too much commentary from his daughter, and then just scraps from the spiritual banquet table that is Abraham Heschel. I wanted to read the father, not the daughter. I dug into his writings in spite of this book. "God in Search of Man" and "The Prophets" are much better purchases. After reading these, I now think her selections often missed the mark. Great man, great soul, but a crummy introduction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Heschel book eloquent, February 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
Susannah Heschel is the single best writer and interpreter of her father's vision for modern Judaism. Her language is eloquent and her organization of the master's thought produce a very accessible work that will be as significant for progressive Christians as for Jews.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok, January 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) (Paperback)
This book was not exactly what I was looking for. I am not sure what I was looking for but this was not it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters)
Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) by Abraham Joshua Heschel (Paperback - May 15, 2011)
$20.00 $14.33
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.