Heschel’s belief that eternity pierces and sacralizes normal time is rendered in prose which pays homage to “the moment”. It feels reminiscent of Eliot at times, but it gets to the heart of Heschel’s identity as a Jew. “Jews have not preserved monuments,” he writes, “they have retained the ancient moments.” These moments, venerated and hallowed, allow us access to eternity. In fact, they might be our only option as port of entry. The onus is on us to remember the holiness of the time as it passes in before us. As Heschel explains, “The days of our lives are representatives of eternity rather than fugitives, and we must live as if the fate of all of time would totally depend on a single moment.” Redemption, in other words, resides in all time or none at all. And the existential imperative to find eternity in the dissipating movements of time is the conclusion anyone seriously studying Jewish mysticism should reach. “The higher goal of spiritual living,” Heschel reminds us, “is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments.” Heschel’s writing in this vein is a reassuring reminder that often times we have trouble sensing God, not because of a great distance, but because of an unfathomable proximity.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor