Abraham Joshua Heschel

Public Domain
Image source: Public Domain
  • Faith: Judaism
  • Profession: Rabbi, Philosopher, Theologian
  • Lived: January 11, 1907–December 23, 1972 (Modern Era)
  • Nationality: Polish-born American
  • Known for: Leading Jewish theologian of 20th century and Civil Rights activist
  • Fun Fact: Heschel left Warsaw for London just six weeks before the German invasion of Poland. His mother and two surviving sisters were killed by the Nazis. After leaving Warsaw, he never returned to Germany, Austria or Poland because he felt everything would remind him of the Nazi's hatred.
  • Fun Fact: Heschel marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. at Selma.
  • Fun Fact: 

Heschel was the youngest of six children and descended from a long line of rabbis. His mother was a descendant of Hasidic dynasties and saw to it that Heschel received a traditional yeshiva education. He went on to pursue his doctorate at the University of Berlin and liberal rabbinic ordination at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums where he learned from some of the finest Jewish educators alive. While living in Frankfurt, he was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Poland. Six weeks before the German invasion of Poland, Heschel fled to London and from there to New York City in 1940. Though he was an ordained rabbi, Heschel believed that no single religious community could claim a monopoly on religious truth.

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