Ineffable Name of God : Man - Poems in Yiddish and English
These 66 poems, here in English and Yiddish on facing pages, were collected in the first book Abraham Joshua Heschel ever published. They appeared in Warsaw in 1933 when Heschel was 26 years old and still a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Berlin. Written between 1927 and 1933-and never published in English before-this is the intimate spiritual diary of a devout European Jew, loyal to the revelation at Sinai and afflicted with reverence for all human beings. These poems sound themes that will resonate throughout Heschel's later popular writings: human holiness, a passion for truth, awe and wonder before nature, God's quest for righteousness, solidarity with the downtrodden, and unwavering commitment to tikkun olam. In these poems we also discover a young man's acute loneliness, dismay at God's distance, and dreams of spiritual and sensual intimacy with a woman.
- Paperback | 206 pages
- 152.4 x 226.1 x 17.8mm | 294.84g
- 29 Mar 2007
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
- London, United Kingdom
- English, Yiddish
- New edition
- New edition
- 1, black & white illustrations
"Abraham Joshua Heschel's first calling as a writer was to become in his early twenties a major poet in Yiddish. In this earliest work, Heschel stated all the themes of his later development as a religious thinker and passionate Jew. This work is now translated magnificently, in a way that is sensitive to Heschel's Yiddish, by Morton Leifinan. Taken together, in the original Yiddish and in contemporary English, this book is a classic." Abraham Joshua Heschel s first calling as a writer was to become in his early twenties a major poet in Yiddish. In this earliest work, Heschel stated all the themes of his later development as a religious thinker and passionate Jew. This work is now translated magnificently, in a way that is sensitive to Heschel s Yiddish, by Morton Leifman. Taken together, in the original Yiddish and in contemporary English, this book is a classic. Arthur Hertzberg To discover that the religious philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel was a poet in his youth is both startling and indelibly self-evident startling because the poems have so far eluded the anthologies; and at the same time familiarly manifest, in that Heschel s metaphysical writings themselves carry the impress of poetry. Like Herbert, like Donne, like Blake, he is God-haunted; his lyrics are steeped in the mystic s longing to tear away the curtain that conceals the divine radiance and (sometimes) God's tears. Cynthia Ozick highly skillful and artistically adept English translations allows us to explore, with great pleasure and profit, the ways that Heschel came to understand his relationships to his God and to his fellow humans. Confrontation Magazine, Spring/Summer 2005--Confrontation Magazine I don t know of anyone who has written about God and about life with the kind of intimacy and boldness and love that Abraham Joshua Heschel has in these poems. Morton Leifman has translated them faithfully and lovingly, and in many passages, ingeniously. All those who yearn to be in the company of a God-haunted, God-intoxicated, God-loving poet should treasure this book which has been rescued from oblivion in Yiddish and given new life in this wondrous English edition. South Florida Jewish News The Ineffable Name of God: Man. infused with the chasidism of Heschel s youth, with a spiritual yearning for intimacy with God, with awe and wonder before the grandeur of nature, and most acutely, with the theme that will become central in all of Heschel s mature theological work, what he called the divine pathos, God s eternally renewed search for intimacy with humanity. In his tragically brief lifetime, Heschel represented many role models. He was the hero of modern Jewish theologians, the father of the new Jewish spirituality and the eloquent spokesperson for all who were devoted to repairing our seriously flawed world. These two new books speak to his enduring contributions in all of these areas. The Jewish Week, 12/24/04 these 66 poems present the formative writing of one of modern Judaism s greatest spiritual authors. Heschel is a beloved spiritualist, and the whole Jewish community would do well to add this, his first published work, to the collection of his writings. With this first ever English translation, the Yiddish is still preserved on opposite pages. Taken together, these are surprisingly moving pieces of literature considering the age of their author- as young as 20 when they were written. Heschel is a beloved spiritualist, and the whole Jewish community would do well to add this, his first published work, to the collection of his writings. jewsweek.com, December 2004
About Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a pre-eminent scholar, acclaimed spiritual writer, and prophetic activist. He was a professor of ethics and mysticism at Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.
Table of contents
Acknowledgments; Introduction by Edward K. Kaplan; Section I: Man Is Holy; Section II: Bearing Witness; Section III: To a Lady in Dream; Section IV: Between Me and the World; Section V: Nature Pantomimes; Section VI: Repairing the World.