Dr. Stanislaw Obirek

What inspired me most is Heschel's involvement in Jewish-Christian dialogue.

University of Warsaw
Poland
A Christian Perspective

Where did you first encounter Heschel’s work?

Heschel’s prominent students Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin and Professor Harold Kasimow told me about their master.

How did Heschel and his thinking inspire your work, religious life, or civic engagement?

It is a very difficult question for me, because each of books affected me in different way. But if I have to mention one, I will say that his essay “No Religion Is an Island” shaped my perception of Judaism as a dialogical religion and Christianity as a religion closely related to its mother religion. Reading The Prophets was a revelation for me, showing the common ground for both religions which should be a sensitivity to the suffering of poor people. Honestly I cannot think about myself as a Christian and follower of Jesus of Nazareth for whom religion was a religion of the prophets of Hebrew Bible without the books by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

What of Heschel lives in you?

For me the most important from Heschel’s legacy is his commitment to social justice and his passion to transmit to others the beauty of belief in the God of the Hebrew Bible. What inspired me most is Heschel’s involvement in Jewish-Christian dialogue and his contribution to the declaration Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council.

Perhaps it is the will of God that in this eon there should be diversity in our forms of devotion and commitment to Him. In this eon, diversity of religions is the will of God.

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