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Spiritual RadicalAbraham Joshua Heschel in America, 1940-1972$
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Edward K. Kaplan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300115406

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300115406.001.0001

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Institutional Struggles and World War (1942–1944)

Institutional Struggles and World War (1942–1944)

(p.35) 3 Institutional Struggles and World War (1942–1944)
Spiritual Radical

Edward K. Kaplan

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how Heschel was perceived in campus. At times warm, at others distracted, he struck Jacob Marcus as calculating, “frightened and eager to be accepted, wanting to please everyone,” while he seemed to many students to be a spiritual model. Both views, though contradictory, were valid. Heschel wanted to succeed, and he worked relentlessly to achieve his goals, which were themselves contradictory. He needed to secure himself professionally, and gain academic authority, to be able to effectively communicate his vision of human holiness. When Samuel Atlas arrived at HUC, Heschel felt professionally threatened. A silent rivalry developed between the two men, who represented two conflicting strains of European Jewish culture.

Keywords:   spiritual model, Jacob Marcus, human holiness, Samuel Atlas, rivalry, European Jewish culture

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