Abraham Joshua Heschel, A Passion for Truth, p. 34
One may look upon the world with enthusiasm and absorb its wonder and radiant glory; one may also see and be shocked by its ugliness and evil. The prophet Isaiah heard the angels proclaim “The whole earth is full of God’s glory” (Is. 6:3); Job, however, maintained that “the earth is given over to the power of the wicked” (Job 9:24). This text was compiled by Rabbis J. Rolando Matalon, Marcelo Bronstein and Felicia Sol of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York, NY, for Rabbi Matalon’s teaching on the American Jewish World Service Rabbinical Student Delegation. Their work was based on and inspired by The Dignity of Difference by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think the world can be divided into "Wonder and radiant glory" on one side and "Ugliness and evil on the other"? Where are there gray areas? Where are there clear divisions?

2. Could Isaiah's role as a prophet have influenced his view of the world in contrast to Job, who led a life full of suffering?

3. Should a Jewish social justice activist look to see the good in the world or the bad?

Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)