Earlier this week a great podcast showed up in my feed reader. It was for a recent episode of NPR’s Speaking of Faith. The episode was all about the one and only, Abraham Joshua Heschel. It’s a mix of live recoding’s of Heschel taken from various lectures he gave, along with an in depth interview with JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen, who is quite impressive himself. The Chancellor shares stories and anecdotes about Heschel and talks about how Heschel’s message is still relevant today. I highly recommend checking this one out as I think its got something to offer to any Jew who is serious about being a Jew and wants to live in the modern world.
Speaking for myself, I have a real interest in Heschel and own several of his books. However in all honesty I find it next to impossible to read his work. When referring to Heschel I often say “ Yah he’s a guy that I love to hear people talk about but me trying to read him, is like trying to swim in molasses reading. I just don’t get anywhere. I am sure the problem is on my end and not his but thank goodness for programs like this because it makes the man and his teachings much more accessible to someone like me.
Anyhow it’s getting close to Shabbat so I better wrap things up here. Like I said its a really great interview and if you have the time, do check it out. Heschel’s message is definitely Trans-Denominational and is even IMO relevant beyond the boundaries of Judaism.
Oh, also available for download is the full unedited interview with Chancellor Eisen, which is in some was actually better (more complete) than the aired version of the program, so I recommend giving that one a listen as well.
Lastly below is an Episode synopsis from the Speaking of Faith site:
The Spiritual Audacity of Abraham Joshua Heschel (June 5, 2008)
Heschel was a mystic who wrote transcendent, poetic words about God. At the very same time, he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and organized religious leadership against the war in Vietnam, embodying the extreme social activism of the biblical prophets he studied. We explore his teachings and his legacy for people in our day.
Enjoy and as always if you listen to the program and/or additional interview please feel free to let the rest of us know what you thought.