Tonight is a time to catch our breath.
Whatever we have been doing, making, working, creating
Tonight we pause to catch our breath.

No matter how necessary our work, how important to the world, how urgent that we continue it;
No matter how joyful our work, how fully and profoundly human;
No matter how flawed our work, how urgent that we set it right;
No matter how hard we have worked to gather our modest fame, our honorable livelihood, our reasonable power

Tonight we pause to catch our breath,
Tonight we pause to share whatever we have gathered.

To set apart one day a week for freedom,
A day on which we would not use the instruments which have been so easily turned into weapons for destruction.
A day for being with ourselves,
A day for detachment from the vulgar, of independence from external obligations,
A day on which we use no money,
A day of armistice in the economic struggle with our fellow men & women and the forces of nature–

Is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for our progress than the Sabbath?
Abraham Joshua Heschel

From far left: U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), who had been severely beaten on March 7, 1965 while leading the “Bloody Sunday” march; an unidentified nun; Ralph Abernathy; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ralph Bunche, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Rabbi Heschel; the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel participated in the Selma Civil Rights March on March 21, 1965.  The march led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in July 1965
More about these activities by Rabbi Heschel’s daughter, Professor Susannah Heschel.

Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehood.
The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, and the vision.
A. J. H.