The Earth Is the Lord's
by Abraham Joshua Heschel is a story about the daily life of Jews in Eastern Europe before the 20th century. "I have not talked about their books, their art or institutions," Heschel writes in the book's preface, "but about their ... customs, about their attitudes toward the basic things in life, about the scale of values which directed their aspirations." Spare, elegant woodcut illustrations by Ilya Schor complement Heschel's text, deepening its preoccupation with intangibles. (One chapter, for example, describes an indelibly Jewish trait, "The Sigh.") The parallelisms of Heschel's prose are mesmerizing: "Pagans exalt sacred things, the Prophets extol sacred deeds;" "The stone is broken, but the words are alive." There are stories of a seraph in a synagogue, of scholars closing their books and wandering away from home in self-imposed exile, of a rabbi who spent days staring at the same page of the Talmud. ("I feel so good here," he said, "why should I go elsewhere?") The facts of each vignette are suffused with purpose so that when Heschel states his book's reason for being, it seems the most natural thing in the world: "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." --Michael Joseph Gross
From Library Journal
This thin 1949 volume focuses on the daily life of the Eastern European Jew during the Ashkenazic period.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.