This is the first volume of the first biography of Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the outstanding Jewish thinkers of the twentieth century. Edward K. Kaplan and Samuel H. Dresner trace Heschel's life from his birth in Warsaw in 1907 to his emigration to the United States in 1940, describing his roots in Hasidic culture, his experiences in Poland and Germany, and his relations with Martin Buber.
"This first volume of a remarkable biography of one of the greatest Jewish thinkers and social activists of his generation must take its place in every home, in every library, Jewish and gentile alike. Written with warmth, passion, and grace, it offers the reader an insight into the man Heschel, whose teaching has uniquely influenced modern theology and inspired moral commitment."-Elie Wiesel
"This book is simply stunning! . . . The authors . . . have a profound understanding of Heschel's inner life, and they use all this information in order to craft a powerful portrait of a human being."-Jack Riemer, Commonweal
"Th[is] long-awaited biography of Heschel cover[s] the author's youth in Warsaw and education in Vilna and Berlin. . . . Kaplan and Dresner's biography will hold broad popular interest while providing academics an important starting point from which to investigate critically the life and thought of this important thinker."-Zachary Braiterman, Religious Studies Review
"Critical, careful attention [is paid] to Heschel's words."-Laurie Adlerstein, New York Times Book Review
Edward K. Kaplan is Kevy and Hortense Kaiserman Professor in the Humanities at Brandeis University, where he teaches courses on French and comparative literature and religious studies. Rabbi Samuel H. Dresner, congregational rabbi and professor of philosophy, Jewish Theological Seminary, was a student, friend, and editor of Heschel.