Fifty Years Ago at PAS – Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel

Among the treasures in the Shapiro Audio Archive is the March 31, 1967 Harold Starkman Memorial Lecture by Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel on the topic Who Is Man? One of the most renowned scholars of his generation, Dr. Heschel was Professor of Jewish Ethics and Mysticism at JTS. Philosopher, theologian, prolific author, and humanitarian, Heschel is remembered for his academic and literary accomplishments as well as his leadership in the social and political movements of his time. During his remarks at PAS, Dr. Heschel observed, “who is a man is not only a question but also an exclamation. A human is more than a concept of fact – it is a category of value . . . the highest of all value available to us.” Who Is Man?, in addition to being Dr. Heschel’s topic at PAS, was published in 1965 as a collection of lectures that Dr. Heschel delivered at Stanford University.

"God takes man very seriously … but the question is, does man take man seriously?"

"Who is Man? implies also something like a sense of value … who is man is not only a question it's also an exclamation."

"Human is more than a concept of fact, it is a category of value the highest of all values available to us."

"Human life is such a grand opportunity - is the Bible right? It is upon this issue the truth of Judaism depends."

We hope you enjoy this piece of PAS history. Links to the full sermons and presentations are available through the database that can be accessed at the top of this page. Please let us know your thoughts: