Recorded April 24, 2016
Rabbi Heschel says that awe and the sense of the ineffable are necessary for religious life, but are not sufficient to produce action. Being transformed by the awe one experiences must always be an inward experience first. This is where God has planted beautiful things inside each of us that can come out to the cosmos, if we can reach for it. We are often swayed, Heschel says, by our artificial needs, rather than our authentic needs. Most people die in the epidemics of needs rather than the epidemics of diseases – for example, those caught in the for-profit prison pipeline, or in slave labor conditions to create products for other countries. Happiness, the sense of being needed, and giving ourself over to a higher “Yes” – to higher needs than our own personal needs – and more are covered in this sermon.
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