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This report is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

Her Hat Was of Similar Hue Mark Dow
In a faded yellow hardcover with black block letters impressed to the touch, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel says that God needs man to need him, God. I say Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel needed God to need him, Heschel, to say that. He, Heschel, was born in Warsaw and left just before it would have been too late. Later he gave a talk in Houston, and afterwards, before the small reception for him, my mother made a tuna sandwich for him. It probably had chopped celery in it. My father recalls that Heschel was very appreciative of the sandwich. What I recall is that Heschel seemed small for a grown man to seem, even to a small boy, and the long white beard pointing to the off-white shag carpet his theologic shoes nestled in, in, in the living room of the house my parents had built on Houston’s bald prairie in 1960 on Glenmeadow, a block from the drainage ditch slippery minnows used to occur to us kids in. They’d turn as one collective impulse or idea. One of his books is where I remember the word ineffable from. In another one he says that if we observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, we can constitute timelessness inside of time for a little while. The streets named on the plat record for Houston’s Meyerland subdivision had been graded but were still unpaved when my mother’s father went with my parents before they were my parents to see the lot. My father recalls what he calls heavy, compacted, black mud. He ...

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