Samuel H. Dresner

in Heschel, Hasidism, and Halakha

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780823221158
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236749 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces Heschel as a remarkable teacher, celebrating Heschel's life and defining his guiding principles. It illustrates how a wide variety of people—Christians, Muslims, Jews, African Americans, and others—appreciated and revered Heschel as a thinker, prophetic activist, and spiritual guide. A major theme of Heschel's writings was human grandeur and dignity. His environment, scholarship, and concerns were each characterized by an unusually broad range. This contributed to the wholeness of his person: the breadth of his understanding as well as its depth. According to Heschel, two opposite Hasidic masters served as his models: The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, and his counterpart, Rabbi Mendl of Kotzk. The chapter concludes that Heschel was a nasi, a prince of his people; shalem, marvelously whole; and zaddik hador, master for the age.

Keywords: Heschel; grandeur; dignity; Hasidic masters; shalem; nasi

Chapter.  12245 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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