Foreword Reviews

Thunder in the Soul

To Be Known by God

The image of Abraham Joshua Heschel walking in pace with Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma is seared into the consciousness of every American Jew. Drawing on the Talmud, Jewish prophecy, and interreligious connections, he viewed God as vulnerable to the deeds of humans; as such, he also protested Vietnam, influenced Nostra aetate, formed a friendship with Reinhold Niebuhr, and became an inspiration to believers of all stripes.

Thunder in the Soul is a compendium of the radical rabbi’s teachings, compiled with his emphases on social justice, prophecy, prayer, and spirituality in mind. It draws from, among other works, The Sabbath, God in Search of Man, and The Prophets (a translation of his dissertation, written before he fled WWII Europe for the US). Its dual introductions help to center Heschel’s work in the concerns of today, including of racism, war, and poverty—ills credited with diminishing our humanity.

The book maintains the poetic cadences and relentless spirit of inquiry that dominated all of Heschel’s work, but distills his lovely and provocative arguments into snack-sized helpings for the seeker on the go. “The world … is crammed with marvel,” Heschel wrote; the same is true of this humble introduction to his work.

Reviewed by Michelle Anne Schingler

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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