The philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel emphasized time rather than space as the major category of significance in Judaism. The first divine hallowing in creation was the seventh day, the Sabbath, not any place or thing. When the child asked Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, “Where is God?” he answered, “Whenever you let Him in.” Not “where” but “when,” and not place but time is the locus of godliness.
Bibliographical guide for the perplexed compiled by Amy Klein.
Abraham Joshua Heschel is marching in line with Martin Luther King Jr. and a number of other key civil rights demonstrators. At the end of the demonstration, a journalist asked Heschel to describe his feelings about marching with King. He answered: "My feet were praying."
Heschel was prominent as a scholar, teacher and theologian, and widely respected because of his numerous publications. He was also well known as a result of his participation in Vatican II. Vatican II was the gathering in the early 1960s during which the Catholic Church introduced many significant internal changes. One of the changes included a historical reckoning: a formal process was begun that would eventually lead to the public announcement by the Church that "the Jews" did not kill Christ. From his participation in Vatican II, Heschel received the nickname from Catholics throughout the world of "Father Abraham."
Abraham Joshua Heschel said that he prayed for one thing: the gift of wonder. He prayed for astonishment, for the capacity to be surprised. As he wrote, "I try not to be stale. I try to remain young. I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendouslysurprised at life and at ideas. This is to me the supreme Chassidic imperative."