God’s People [Chapter Eight] – 16.26 minutes
Heschel describes himself as,
“A brand plucked from the fire , in which my people were burned to death…”
The mark of Cain in the face of man has come to overshadow the likeness of God. There has never been so much guilt and distress, agony, and terror. …The taste for the good has almost gone from the earth.
The world [here we can substitute our life, home, government, country] is not a vacuum. Either we make it an altar for God or it is invaded by demons.
Heschel’s childhood was spent among the Hassidic Jews of Eastern Europe. He describes how:
They put no trust in the secular world. …To them life without Torah [the Word of God] and without piety was chaos.
They believed that a bit of spiritual nobility was a thousand times more valuable than all the secular sciences; that praying three times a day, “My God, guard my tongue from evil,” was more important than the study of physics; that meditating upon the Psalms filled man with more compassion than the study of Roman history.
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I Asked For Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology