Prophetic voice of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

And now, O Israel, what does Adonai your God require of you, but to stand in awe of Adonai your God, walk in God’s ways, love God, serve Adonai your God with all your mind and heart, and keep the commands of Adonai and God’s statutes that I am commanding you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12)

This week, with God as our Subject, I am quoting Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s book, I Asked For Wonder. (Note: I edited Rabbi Heschel’s brilliant language to make it egalitarian; it was written at a time when writers lacked this sensitivity. Rabbi Heschel’s commitment to egalitarianism in principle makes me certain he would not object to this minor edit.) Among his writings about God, he wrote:

God is of no importance unless God is of supreme importance.

God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. God is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. God is the light.

God is not hiding in a temple. The Torah came to tell inattentive people: “You are not alone, you live constantly in a holy neighborhood; remember: ‘Love they neighbor – God – as thyself’”.

We are not asked to abandon life and to say farewell to this world, but to keep the spark within aflame and to suffer God’s light to reflect in our face. Let our greed not rise like a barrier to this neighborhood. God is waiting on every road that leads from intention to action, from desire to satisfaction.

Worship is a way of seeing the world in the light of God.

May you have a week of blessings, and a Shabbat of peace,

Rabbi Debbie Israel