The Private Heschel

Susannnah Heschel has a wonderful article in the Jewish Week about her father, Abraham Joshua Heschel, in which she writes about his life as a father and husband, as well as his life as a public intellectual and rebbe.

The end of the article has a beautiful take on the way Heschel transcended traditional Jewish denominations and categories.

Rabbi Samuel Belkin, who was president of Yeshiva University, once told my father, “You are rabbi to the world.” My father never claimed there was a single way to be a Jew, nor did he ever identify himself as a representative of Conservative Judaism. One might describe him as “strictly observant,” but that adjective seems inappropriate — he was lovingly observant, relishing with joy every mitzvah. My hope is that all who are inspired by my father’s work will absorb some of his wonderful personality as well — his enthusiasm for life, his joy in his family, the empathy he brought to his friends and also the seriousness and depth of his moral commitments. (MORE)

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