Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Prophetic Witness. New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1998.

Table of Contents

Preface i

Warsaw: Childhood and Adolescence

(1907-1925)

Chapter 1. Ancestral Unconscious:

Names, Legends, and Legacies 1

The rebbe of Apt 2

A Princely Tradition 3

Torah Study and Piety 5

A Family Mystery 7


Chapter 2. Heschel's First Home:

A Father, a Hasidic Court, and a City

(1907-1912) 14

His Father's Court 15

Portrait of a Rebbe 17

Spiritual Exile 20

Spiritual Delicacy 21

Warsaw Walks 23


Chapter 3. Grooming a Hasidic Prince:

First Studies and the Approach of War

(1907-1914) 28

Elementary Education 30

Sanctification of Time 32

Hasidic Schools in Warsaw 33

Cultivating Spirit and Mind 36

Father's Court in 1914 38


Chapter 4. Catastrophes:

Wartime and Father's Death

(1914-1917) 45

Family Influences 46

Father's Sudden Death 49

"The Blessings of Humiliation" 51


Chapter 5. "The Blessings of Humiliation":

A Passion for Integrity

(1918-1920) 55

A Bolt of Lightning 56

Model of Authentic Piety 62

Chapter 6. Triumphal Adolescence:

Bar Mitzvah, Ordination, Publications, and Betrothal

(1920-1924) 70

Religious Adulthood 71

Opening to the Modern World 73

First Publications 74

Premature Betrothal 76

A Spiritual Diagnosis 78

A Certain Wildness 82


Chapter 7. Expanding the Self through Literature:

Hasidism into Modernity

(1923-1925) 87

Facing Jewish Modernity 88

Poetry and World Culture 93

Heschel's Poetic Unconscious 95


Chapter 8. Leaving Warsaw:

Literature and Modern Education

(1925) 101
F
amily Flexibility and Hasidic Radicalism 102

"Jerusalem of Lithuania" 106

Round Trip Tickets 107

Jewish Modernity and Its Paradoxes 108



Vilna: Jerusalem of Lithuania

(1925-1927) 112


Chapter 9. Piety and Poetry:

A Rebbe Among Revolutionaries

(1925-1927) 116

Pluralistic Community 118

A Portrait of Heschel in Vilna 119

A Strange Esthetic Modesty 121

Poetry of Spiritual Aspiration 123


Chapter 10. A Secular Jewish Utopia:

The Real-Gymnasium of Vilna

(1925-1927) 128

Shy and Serious 129

Spirit and Secularism 130

Personalities and Teachers 132

Masters of Literature 133

A Secret Sorrow 136

Translating World Culture 137


Chapter 11. Leaving Vilna:

The Sanctity of Modern Jewishness

(June 1927) 142

A Lonely Celebration 143

Translating an Identity 144

Spiritualizing Vilna 147



Berlin: Europe in Crisis

(1927-1937) 151


Chapter 12. A Student in Berlin:

Modern Scholarship, European Culture

(1927-1928) 155

A University Education 157

The Scientific Study of Judaism 159

A Cultural Treasure 163

Ultimate Meaning 165


Chapter 13. A Jewish Philosophical Mentor:

David Koigen

(1928-1930) 168

A Theology of Jewish History 172

A Challenge to Alienation 176


Chapter 14. Religion and the Mind:

Professors and Personalities

(1927-1931) 181

The University of Berlin 182

Liberal Jewish Curriculum 185

Scholar, Rabbi, Philosopher 190

Academic Breakthroughs 191

Art and Psychology 193

Crossroads to a Jewish Future 194


Chapter 15. Heschel's Inner Life:

Poetic Vision and Prophetic Sympathy

(1928-1931) 200

A Mature Poetic Debut 201

Portrait of a Soul 203

God's Worldly Presence 208

Infatuation and Joy 211

Poetry and Prophetic Judgment 213


Chapter 16. Paradigm Shift:

Piety versus Epistemology

(1929-1931) 221

The neo-Kantian Paradigm 223

The Philosopher of Hamburg 225

Philosophy versus Piety 227

A Parable of Jewish Renewal 228

A Philosophical Community 232


Chapter 17. Koigen's Philosophical Community:

Social Theory versus Spiritual Activism

(1929-1931) 236

Search for Meaning 237

Philosopher and Witness 241

Crisis within Modern Judaism 247

Struggle within Hasidism 249


Chapter 18. God's Active Presence:

Heschel's Doctoral Dissertation

(1931-1932) 256

Scholarship and Prophetic Insight 258

The Living God 260

Ethics and Divine Pathos 262

Prophetic Witness 265

Evaluation and Approval 266


Chapter 19. Apocalyptic Horsemen:

1933, Year of Grief and Rage 273

Grief and Certification 275

A Modern Jewish Philosopher 278

Desecrating the Divine Image 281


Chapter 20. A Poet's Self-Portrait:

Holiness, Longing, and Compassion

(Winter 1933-1934) 289

A Sacred Humanism 291

Longings Sacred and Profane 293

God in Exile 298

A Yiddish Soul 303

Building a Reputation 303


Chapter 21. Spiritual and Intellectual Biographies:

Koigen and Maimonides

(1934-1935) 308

A Model Philosophic Personality 309

Ordained at the Hochschule 311

Rescuing his Doctorate 312

The Jewish Renaissance 316

Spiritual and Cultural Biography 317

Spiritual Death and Rebirth 319

Inwardness and Activism 321

Scholarship and Art 323


Chapter 22. The German Jewish Renaissance:

Hasidic Spirit and the Doctorate

(1934-1935) 329

Portrait of Heschel 331

An Intellectual Community 334

Books of Jewish Renewal 337

Receiving the Doctorate 338


Chapter 23. Showdown with Martin Buber:

Revelation or Social Philosophy?

(June-December 1935) 345

Against Philosophical Anthropology 346

Atheistic Theology? 353

A Spiritual Archeology 355


Chapter 24. Mission Defined:

Scholar, Educator, and Guide

(January-November 1936) 360

Publishing "Die Prophetie" 362

A Scholarly Reputation 366

Islamic and Hebrew Prophecy 367

Education and Spiritual Resistance 369

Inner Spiritual Integrity 373



Frankfurt, the War, and Exile 378

(1936-1940)


Chapter 25. Replacing Martin Buber in Frankfurt:

Teaching in Times of Crisis

(September 1936-December 1937) 382

Entering Buber's Sphere 383

Heschel at Home 386

A Modern Jewish Teacher 388

A Biography of Jewish Exile 390

Career in Suspense 394


Chapter 26. A Prophetic Witness:

God in Exile

(December 1937-March 1938) 400

Scholarship and Prophetology 401

Meaning and Persecution 404

The Liquidation of European Jewry 408


Chapter 27. "Out of the Depths":

Communicating with Martin Buber

(March-October 1938) 415

The Depths of Sorrow 416

Struggle to Emigrate 419

Spiritual Support 422

Crisis of Jewish History 423

Saved by Expulsion 428


Chapter 28. Final Months in Warsaw:

Teaching, Writing, Struggling to Escape

(November 1938-July 1939) 433

Escaping Disaster 434

Polish Jewish Scholarship 438

Companion in Jerusalem 442

The Paperwork of Escape 444

A Spiritual Shield 449


Chapter 29. "Plucked From the Fire":

From London to the United States

(July 1939-March 1940) 455

Heschel at Home 456

Establishing a Community 457

A Visa and a Vision 458

Joining the College in Exile 462

A London Lehrhaus 468


Chapter 30. Departure and Deliverance:

Pathways to Holiness

(1939-1940) 477

Legacies of Renewal 478

Epilogue 482

Songs and Epitaphs 487



Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .493

Acknowledgments .............................

Index of Names and Places ..................................