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At the Israel Levin Center

At the Israel Levin Center

HESCHEL: "I'll tell you how I survive, but you won't like it....The word is 'pain.' Pain is the avenue to getting a soul, getting quality from yourself. This is how you get a life that's really on the essence.

"You got to go about pain the right way. You couldn't es-cape, so you go into it. Then it melts. You get from this the whole thing, the idea of life itself and the result is you're able to take pain in and ignore it because you're so full of living. When you learn to do this-- and believe me, it took me a very long time-- you get a clarification, I would say....

"So when the pain comes, I am patient. I shut up, active silence; I bear it... I don't take a tranquilizer, a sleeping pill, some schnapps, or watch television. I stand before it. I call the pain out. After you go through this you discover you got choices. You become whole. This is the task of our life. I want to live this kind of life, so I can be alive every minute. I want to know when I'm awake, I'm altogether awake. When I'm asleep, I'm asleep...."


1. Entire quote from Myerhoff, Barbara, Number Our Days (New York: Dutton, 1978) 197-8.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "At the Israel Levin Center." (Viewed on November 26, 2015) <>.


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