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October 26, 1984 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-10-26

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Friday, October 26, 1984






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Student pays tribute to teacher

Works of scholars and teachers
attain recognition and continuity
in the admiration of disciples.
This is especially in evidence in
the anthology of the writings and
teachings of Abraham Joshua
Heschel. The student and admirer
who edited this work is Rabbi
Samuel H. Dresner.
I Ask for Wonder (Crossroad
Publishing Co.) is the anthology
in which Rabbi Dresner has Hes-
chel's definitive essays on God,
Prayer, Sabbath, Religion, Man,
Bible, Holy Deeds, the People and
the Land.
The basics of Jewish teachings
and a panorama of Jewish experi-
ence are combined in the excerp-
ted works by the late Dr. Heschel.
Rabbi Dresner's introductory
essay is especially worthy of
appreciation by the admirers of
the late philosopher. It is both a
tribute to. Dr. Heschel and an
evaluation of his life's work.
Rabbi Dresner recalls a visit
with his teacher shortly before his
death when Heschel spoke in
faith, as the Dresner introduction
" 'Sam,' he said, 'when I re-
gained consciousness, my first
feelings were not of despair or
anger. I felt only gratitude to God
for my life, for every moment I had
lived. I was ready to depart. `Take
me, 0 Lord,' I thought, have
seen so many miracles in my
"Exhausted by the effort, he
paused for a moment, then added:
`That is what I meant when I
wrote (in the preface to his book of
Yiddish poems): I did not ask for
success; I asked for wonder. And
you gave it to me.'
"-`Khob gebetn vunder anshtot
glik, un du host zey mir gegebn.' "
Thereupon Rabbi Dresner re-
calls the title of one of Heshel's
first works, Man Is Not Aline, and
his emphasis is on the piety and
inspired vision of the great
Rabbi Dresner's introductory
essay calls attention to .Heschel's
agonies in the years of the
Holocaust, the loss of his family,

Rabbi Samuel Dresner

the despair that encircled man-
kind, and he pays honor to Hes-
chel in this fashion:
"He knew he was the descen-
dent of a people who ever since
Sinai was destined to 'dwell apart'
and whose vocation was to be a
witness to the living God amidst
all the idolatries of history. Be-
cause he was spared from the
flames which devoured his family,
his community, and that whole ir-
replaceable world of learning and
piety in eastern Europe which
alone could have produced him, he
felt a special 'burden' had been
placed upon his shoulders. It was
to remind men, with a testimony
all the more convincing since it
came from one who had experi-
enced the fullness of evil, that de-
spite the absurd and the apathy,
the world is filled with mystery,
meaning, and mercy, with won-
der, joy, and fulfillment; that men
have the power to do God's will,
and that the divine image in
which we are made, though dis-
torted, cannot be obliterated. In
the end, the likeness of God will
triumph over the mark of Cain."
Thus, the philosophy and piety
of Heschel is perpetuated and con-
tinued by a devoted student.
Rabbo Dresner properly acknowl-
edges the teachings of Dr. Hes-
chel, as devoted student to a
sanctified teacher.
— P.S.

Jewish culture foundation plans
aid projects for European Jewry




New York (JTA) — Philip
Klutznick, who was elected to his
first full term as president of the
Memorial Foundation for Jewish
Culture at the recent 20th annual
meeting of the organization in
Jerusalem, announced that the
foundation has allocated more
than $4.5 million for 1984-1986.
Dispersed Jewish communities
in Scandinavia were selected as
the target for a pilot program. A
second program for training per-
sonnel will be implemented in
France, "because of the great need
there. France has 14 communities
with from 500 to 2,500 people and
more than 100 communities with
fewer than 500 people who have
no educational, religious or cul-
tural services. The need is ur-
A third program will be under-
taken in Hungary "to help stimu-
late this kind of activity in East-
ern Europe."

Klutznick said that a condition
for the program's success is for
communities participating in the
pilot project to "actively support
the project and to assume respon-
sibility for it once it is tested and

Eban enumerates
goals for Israel

New York (JTA).— Abba Eban,
Israel's former foreign minister,
told guests at a dinner celebrating
the 50th anniversary of the
Weizmann Institute of Science
that the Jewish state's new na-
tional unity government has the
possibility of attaining three
goals within the next two years:
recovery of the economy, "extrica-
tion" from Lebanon, and reform of
the electoral system to "prevent
future deadlocks."

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