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Israel: An Echo of Eternity (Jewish Lights Classic Reprint) Paperback – March, 1997

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Product Details

  • Series: Jewish Lights Classic Reprint
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879045702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879045705
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,152,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Israel: An Echo of Eternity is a philosophical history of the past, present, and future home of the Jews, written by Abraham Joshua Heschel following his visit to Israel just after the Six Days' War in 1967. Illustrated with beautiful line drawings by Abraham Rattner and written in Heschel's characteristically pithy and penetrating style, the book is implicitly critical of secular Zionism for its lack of interest in Judaism's religious teachings. "We do not worship the soil," Heschel writes (meaning that the land is not holy; it is, instead, a site where holiness is to be created). Therefore, Heschel also refuses easy interpretations of the creation of the state of Israel as recompense for the Holocaust. "It would be blasphemy to regard it as compensation. However, the existence of Israel reborn makes life less unendurable. It is a slight hinderer of hindrances to believing in God." Heschel's observations about religion and politics are extremely durable. Referring to Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, he avers that religion cannot ever be an excuse for racism: "You cannot worship God and at the same time look at man as if he were a horse." Even as an account of one man's relationship to the Holy Land, this book is of lasting value. To arrive in Jerusalem, Heschel writes, is to be joined in "streams of endless craving, clinging, dreaming, flowing day and night." --Michael Joseph Gross

From Library Journal

Heschel here addresses the Jewish people's fidelity to Jerusalem. LJ's reviewer stated that "although brief [the book] is studded with scholarship; [Heschel's] rapture with the Holy City and its importance to the Jews is apparent on every page" (LJ 2/1/69).-- is studded with scholarship; [Heschel's] rapture with the Holy City and its importance to the Jews is apparent on every page" (LJ 2/1/69).
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-72), one of the foremost Jewish savants of our time, was internationally known as scholar, author, activist, and theologian.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Forster on April 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Israel: An Echo of Eternity is a remarkable text from Heschel. Although it was not what I expected, I find that it offers a very unique insight into Jewish thought, from a very specific time and place, and from a very distinguished human being.

Heschel visited Israel right after the Six Day War in 1967, and what this book offers is his interpretation of "what Israel means" to the world, for both Jews and non-Jews. I expected something closer to a journal, detailing his thoughts and observations from his visit. What Heschel provides is more of an outline of Jewish philosophy, in the context for a 1967 audience. It is rare to find such an articulate encapsulation of the perceptions "the day after" such an historical event.

This is not a history book. If anything, it is more like an emotional time capsule. The Israel of 1967 is very different from the Israel of the 21st Century, but the hopes and aspirations of what Israel can mean for our lives and to the future is still present throughout this book. Heschel's words are a snapshot of his own perceptions of Judaism, politics, philosophy, and the evolving State of Israel.

There are two very poignant items that struck me in this book: his notion of paradox and his observations of regional politics.

Early on in the book, Heschel addresses the idea of paradox as an inherent part of religion (for example, religions teach us to treat all people equally, but we are also commanded to hold special attention to our mother and father). I can only imagine the paradox that Heschel must have felt in 1967. The State of Israel only survived out of the violence inherent in war, but Heschel's own philosophy is so deeply rooted in the tenants of non-violence.
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