Educating for Reverence: The Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel, considered to be one of America's most provocative spiritual voices, distinguished himself in America as a philosophy, theologian and moral spokesperson on major social issues. This study is an analysis of his thought and traces its origin to Jewish mysticism and Hassidism. Dr. Gross applies Heschel's philosophy which stresses the development of the inquirer's ability to wonder and amazement at the mystery of being. Education, according to Heschel, must endow the enquirer with a sense of significant being and capacity to revere the world.
"The centrality of the teacher in education for Heschel", explains Rabbi Gross, "came from a long tradition in Judaism. But that tradition also concerned itself with the relationship of student to teacher. In Judaism the status of the teacher was that of spiritual father ... We can see from Heschel's expectations of the teacher/counselor that they must serve as a role model for students. The approach must be, in essence, a holistic one. The counselor must strive to harmonize each person's life with the demands of the material and spiritual worlds. Heschel would want each student to search for wholeness in a manner that is personally appealing and meaningful. The process would have to be highly individualized and involve also parents, clergy, family and friends".
This book investigates the intricacies of Heschel's educational philosophy in depth for the first time.