Abraham Joshua Heschel: Doubt and Action in Times of Crisis

Date: Monday, November 6, 2023
Time: 12:30 pm EST
Location: Online
books on a shelf

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was one of the most significant Jewish thinkers and activists of the twentieth century. Arriving in the United States as part of HUC’s Refugee Scholars Project, Cincinnati was Heschel’s home for most of the war years. In this lecture, Michael Marmur will consider some aspects of the theme of doubt in Heschel’s work. Against the backdrop of the war currently raging in Israel, we will consider some broader Jewish understandings of doubt, and the Hebrew word safek. Is doubt a curse to be overcome, or an invaluable perspective? And are there circumstances in which doubt is banished and certainty prevails? Heschel, whose thought was forged in crisis, may provide some pointers at this critical moment.

Michael Marmur is Associate Professor of Jewish Theology at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem. Among his publications are a number of articles about Heschel, and Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2016.