A Slippery Slope with Valuable Foliage

“In Man Is Not Alone, he [Abraham Joshua Heschel] draws on an old rabbinic teaching that divine revelation is an experience of God that is different for each person. The Torah comes to each of us, a revelation of God that we receive, each in a unique way, renewed every day. No single path leads to God because one’s religion must be authentic to who we are. Since each person is unique, each expression will be as well. One cannot be Jewish the way one’s grandparents were Jewish; that would be spiritual plagiarism: ‘A vibrant society does not dwell in the shadows of old ideas and viewpoints; in the realm of the spirit, only a pioneer can be a true heir. The wages of spiritual plagiarism are the loss of integrity; self-aggrandizement is self-betrayal. Authentic faith is more than an echo of a tradition. It is a creative situation, an event.’”

Abraham Joshua Heschel. Thunder in the Soul (p. 16). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

2 thoughts on “A Slippery Slope with Valuable Foliage

  1. When I participate in the liturgy I assume that the utterances that have stood the test of time are those that were expressed by saints that have experienced God in a manner similar to me. Knowing God (experiencing God) shapes how you read scripture, interact with others, and order your own priorities. I know those who have never experienced God and I relish my time with those who have.

  2. I completely agree. And yet even our individual experiences of the same liturgy are unique.

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