From a Guardian story about President Obama’s press conference at the G20 Summit yesterday:

Asked whether he thought the US should shoulder the blame for causing the crisis, Obama replied America had some accounting to do. But he said he was “a great believer in looking forward rather than looking back”, citing his American law school professor who told him “some are to blame, but all are responsible”.

Surely his law school professor was evoking the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel — “Some are guilty, but all are responsible” — right? Again we feel Heschel’s present-day relevance.

Niebuhr, Heschel — which other SOF biographical series subject will President Obama evoke next? Perhaps Einstein’s post World War II comment: ”…there is no escape into easy comfort, there is no distance ahead for proceeding little by little and delaying the necessary changes into an indefinite future. The situation calls for a courageous effort, for a radical change in our whole attitude in the entire political content.”


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Reflections

Just finished reading the new thriller by the Swedish author Steig Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire. There was an equally provocative subtext message on the book's cover, "There are no innocents... just different degrees of responsibility", which I instantly thought could apply to present economic situation.

I have, I am sure, quoted, or at least tried to quote, something memorable from a teacher of some sort. It may not have been something original to my teacher. And then across the years, because the content of the quote resonated so deeply inside me, I have made a variant of the content mine. I suppose I am willing to give the President a little "poetic license."

It's wonderful that he's able to quote/paraphrase the words of such great figures as Rabbi Heschel. For many people, I don't think Rabbi Heschel is a household name; what a great opportunity to identify his words and writings — especially at this time in history!

I have matriculated from being a fan and admirer of "AJ"-I have become a 'disciple'. He is a source of "living waters" that Jesus preached and died for. I know the good Rabbi Heschel is in His Presence.

apples