The Rhapsodist

By Yehudah Mirsky

The New Republic, April 19, 1999

This review looks at Abraham Heschel: Prophetic Witness, by Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner and Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays by Abraham Joshua Heschel, edited by Susannah Heschel. The piece acknowledges that American Judaism has created very little iconography and the one exception is Abraham Joshua Heschel. The reviewer notes Heschel's unique biography and his beginnings as a rabbinic prodigy who eventually left the fold to pursue a more secular life. The reviewer also adds that Dresner never explains why Heschel defects from his rabbinic background. References are made to the fact that Heschel is a rhapsodist in the sense that one is not sure if they were convinced by argument or seduced by his sentences. The piece concludes by asserting that Heschel's greatest creation may have been his persona, which effectively created a model of piety by blending activism with traditionalism.

Topic: History, Art, Social Justice, Tradition, Literature Review, Leadership

Name of Publication: The New Republic

Page Number(s): 36-42

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Genre: Book Review

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. The Rhapsodist. The New Republic. The New Republic. 19 April 1999: 36-42.


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