Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the most remarkable and inspiring figures of the American 20th Century. He was a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr and the entire Civil Rights Movement, a leading critic of the Vietnam War, a champion for Soviet Jews and a pioneer in the work of interfaith dialogue.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Heschel was part of a dynastic royalty of Hasidic rabbis dating back centuries. He narrowly escaped the Holocaust and arrived in New York in 1940. Over the next thirty years he emerged as a one of the most influential voices in the world of religion. His many books, including The Prophets, The Sabbath, and God in Search of Man, are considered religious classics and are widely studied. Today his picture hangs in countless synagogues across America despite the fact that fifty years ago many disagreed with his public opinions.
The film combines archival photographs and rarely seen footage, as well as interviews with Civil Rights leaders Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Young, Pulitzer-prize winning historian Taylor Branch, public theologian Cornel West, Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Arnold Eisen, daughter Susannah Heschel and others. Also featured is artist Marc Chagall’s depiction of the Hebrew prophets, and Ilya’s Schor’s paintings and woodcuts of Hasidic life.