AJ Heschel: The three dimensions

The concern for others is not an extension in breadth but an ascension, a rise. Man reaches a vertical dimension, the dimension of the holy, when he grows beyond his self-interests, when that which is of interest to others becomes vital to him, and it is only in this dimension, in the understanding of its perennial validity, that the concern for other human beings and the devotion to ideals may reach the degree of self-denial. Distant ends, religious, moral and artistic interests, may become as relevant to man as his concern for food. The self, the fellow-man and the dimensions of the holy are the three dimensions of a mature human concern.


Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, was the first white religious figure to respond to Martin Luther King jr’s call for white people to join the Montgomery march. He remained close to King. Cornel West describes Heschel as one of the great prophetic figures of the 20th century. He died in 1972,

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