Abraham Joshua Heschel Part 4

Rabbi Shai Held

Wonder, Revelation, Rambam, and the God Notion

The following lectures explore the theological worldviews of Rabbis Abraham Joshua Heschel and Joseph Soloveitchik. Beggining with Heschel, Shai Held discusses: a) the meaning of wonder and radical amazement, and their connection to a sense of commandedness; b) Heschel's belief in a personal God and his idea that God is "in search of man"; c) the meaning of prophecy, and how prophets can serve as role models for our own religious lives; d) the problem of evil and how it affected Heschel's relationship with God;and e) the life of prayer, and our attempt to overcome self-centeredness. Then turning to Soloveitchik the lectures focus especially on the idea of the human being as creator, and on how that plays out in a variety of Soloveitchik's writings. The lectures both introduce Heschel and Soloveitchik on their own terms, and introduce a vocabulary for thinking about their own religious commitments and obligations.