The Quotable Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Prayer, writes Abraham Joshua Heschel, should not be seen as a "strategem for occasional use," but "rather like an established residence for the innermost self."
Prayer is not a stratagem for occasional use, a refuge to resort to now and then. It is rather like an established residence for the innermost self. All things have a home, the bird has a nest, the fox has a hole, the bee has a hive. A soul without prayer is a soul without a home. Weary, sobbing, the soul, after roaming through a world festered with aimlessness, falsehoods and absurdities, seeks a moment in which to gather up its scattered life, in which to divest itself of enforced pretensions and camouflage, in which to simplify complexities, in which to call for help without being a coward. Such a home is prayer. Continuity, permanence, intimacy, authenticity, earnestness are its attributes. For the soul, home is where prayer is.
Quoted from "On Prayer” in Understanding Jewish Prayer by Jakob J. Petuchowski
New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1972, p. 70.
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