His short bio is:
Scholar, writer, author & a theologian. He taught at Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
He lived 1907-1972, still waiting to read more about his understanding of who Jesus is. His writings are better than most pastors, theologians of any evangelical stance I have ever read on the Old Testament!!
Some excerpts to quote him before i begin my humble, human thoughts
The surest way to suppress our ability to understand the meaning of God and importance of Worship is to take things for granted. Indifference to the sublime wonder of the living is the root of sin. Modern man fell into the trap of believing that everything can be explained.....I have always been a curious type of person as well as spiritual mystic, but curiosity and wonder can be chasms apart. Wonder sits back in awe, curiosity just asks odd questions. Being a spiritual mystic in me leaves a sense of being ok not having answers to spiritual happenings.
To the prophets of old wonder is a FROM OF THINKING. It is not the beginning of knowledge but an act that goes beyond knowledge; it does not come to an end when knowledge is acquired; it is an attitude that never ceases.....
As civilizations advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. Mankind will not perish for want of information's; but only for want of appreciation....
This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living; to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things.
Over the past 2 years watching my sons grow from toddlers to young boys & seeing the sense of adventure & curiosity grow i have tried to encourage that. But my challenge (from last weeks readings) is to encourage a sense of wonder of curiosity. I want my boys to be in AWE of God & that sense of wonder to creep into every aspect of their life.
It almost is a mystical way of looking at life. That when God moves you can't explain it. Heschel also writes that
Man is the messenger who has forgotten the messageHe writes that in context of saying we, mankind, have forgotten the message that our lives are a journey scripted for us for God to move in & through. We have forgotten, pushed thoughts aside, gotten to busy with to much to do for us to actually want, experience or even have a faint whispering of the divine in our lives.
Wonder at the world around us (from an ant on the ground to human life being born) helps our souls be reminded that it all starts with a source we can't explain. Most people that scares them...some people don't even want to think about it.
As a husband & father i want to lead my family in a way that we enjoy the wonders of the unknown. It causes us to ask question, NOT to seek an answer, but to seek a deeper sense of AWE that God is God.
I want to continual have an influence on my wife, kids, students i interact with that life is & always will be filled with wonder to quote Heschel one more time here
The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living. What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder