A Kiss of God

The Sabbath

In the introduction to Abraham Joshua Heschel’s book The Sabbath, his daughter Susannah Heschel writes of him:

On my father’s last Shabbat we had a wonderful dinner with many family friends, after which one of our guests read aloud some of my father’s Yiddish poems, written when he was a young man. He went to sleep that night and never woke. In Jewish tradition, dying in one’s sleep is called a kiss of God, and dying on the Sabbath is a gift that is merited by piety. For the pious person, my father once wrote, it is a privilege to die.

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