“A religious person is a person who holds God and humankind in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair,” penned Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Heschel was a polish Jew, educated in Germany, who came to the US in the 1930s as the Nazis began a more public campaign of anti-Semitism.
The rabbi became one of the most unlikely of voices of equality during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, even in the face of tremendous opposition from within his community, with some fearing it would bring a discriminatory backlash against Jews across America. And yet, Heschel persisted, becoming one of the earliest cross-cultural faith leaders to join alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We sat down with Martin Doblmeier, a documentary filmmaker who has a new project on the Jewish leader, “Spiritual Audacity: The Abraham Joshua Heschel Story.”
Doblmeier has been involved with over 30 films, including works on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, and Reinhold Niebuhr.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy