Thursday, April 22, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Truth to tell 

and quite (John) frankly,

I am a lifelong, inveterate, 


My quirks are legion.

They come in all sizes and shapes.

On a scale of one to ten

I'm somewhere around fifty!!

Just ask my family and friends.

Transparency is all in these days, 

indeed de rigueur, 

so an example:

I have exactly two wardrobes.

At home it's grey shorts, 

blue tee shirt and soft slippers.

For church, the street and company,

it's khaki pants, light blue shirt,

dark blue sweater and sandals -

preferably L.L.Bean. 

That's it.

That's all and always.

If all that doesn't do it, 

there's more.

I simply must 

get everything done right away 

and I sleep with my toes uncovered.

So there!

I'm outed.

Being a tiny tad more "serious,"

one quirk that I just can't 

let go of is this. 

I like my friends 

to be friends with my other friends.

I just want to share the goodness 

by cross pollinating even though 

it often doesn't work.

Well, here goes a try at it.

Friends to friend.

Hope this works. 

A blessing in my life 

is to be befriended 

by Abraham Heschel 

through his writings.

    "He wrote seminal works 

     on the Bible, the Talmud, 

     medieval thought, 

     philosophy, hasidism, and

     contemporary moral problems. 

     He was a theologian, a poet, 

     a mystic, a social reformer, 

     and historian. Indeed, the best 

     of the whole tradition of Israel, 

     its way of thought and life, 

     found a unique synthesis in him. 

     Rooted in the most authentic sources 

     of Israel's faith, Heschel's audience 

     reached beyond creedal boundaries. 

     He was easily the most respected 

     Jewish voice for Protestants 

     and Catholics: his friendship 

     with Reinhold Niebuhr 

     was memorable and 

     his critical role at Vatican II 

     has yet to be described...

     The years since his passing, 

     far from dimming his person, 

     cast in ever brighter relief 

     the unique role he played 

     on the contemporary scene, 

     a role no Jew, 

     or Gentile for that matter, 

     has since filled. 

Rabbi Heschel sings to my soul

in a song of insights.

Two themes course through

the composition.

First :

I am convinced that 

to be a Christian 

we need to first be a Jew.

Jesus was Jewish.

Jesus lived as a Jew.

Jesus thought and taught as a Jew.

Jesus died a Jew.

To understand him, to follow him,

we have to join him in his Jewishness 

and go on with him from there.

To not know Jesus the Jew 

is to not know Jesus 

and how to take him.

Heschel so well connects us

to the Jewishness in which 

we meet and merge with Jesus.

Second :

He gives profound lead 

to the mystical journey,

lived in community,

seeking justice.

A few Soundings:


     "How shall I live the life I am?"

     "I did not ask for success;

       I asked for wonder.

       And You gave it to me."

      "Prayer is arrival at the border.

       The dominion is Thine.

       Take away from me

       all that may not enter

       Thy realm."

      "The essence of Jewish religious thinking 

       does not lie in entertaining a concept of God

       but in the ability to articulate a memory of

       moments of illumination by His presence.

       Israel is not a people of definers

       but a people of witnesses:

       'Ye are My witnesses' ( Isaiah 43: 10)"

       "To pray is to regain a sense of

       the mystery that animates 

       all beings..."


             - and this -


      "What message have you 

       for young people?" asked Carl Stern 

       of NBC in concluding 

       a television interview 

       with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel 

       shortly before his death.

       Rabbi Heschel replied: 

      "...Let them remember 

      that there is a meaning 

      beyond absurdity. 

      Let then be sure that 

      every deed counts, 

      that every word has power, 

      and that we all can do our share 

      to redeem the world in spite of 

      all the absurdities 

      and all the frustrations 

      and all the disappointments.

    "And, above all, (let them) build a life 

     as if it were a work of art." 

In the hope that you my friends 

may share a spiritual friendship 

with my friend, Rabbi Heschel,

through his writings,

a few sources follow.

Thanks for letting me Quirk away.

Hope the intro works 

to everyone's good.

To sign off this week here's one 

of my most cherished sharings

from Rabbi Heschel:   


             "Man is man because 

              something divine is at stake 

              in his existence."


              Your friend and brother,

                   quirks and all,

                    John Frank


The citations above are from

    I Asked for Wonder,

Crossroads, New York 1996

Also of great depth are

       Who Is Man?

Stanford University Press

Stanford, California 1965


      The Sabbath

The Noonday Press

Farrar, Straus and Ciroux

New York 1993


A warn welcome all the fine folks 

joining with us for the first time.

Also, a shout out to all those 

from all around our planet home 

who are so faithfully part of our

weekly spiritual community here.

Happily this week there was

a significant increase in our gathering.

Among the many, lets celebrate 

our brothers and sisters 

from Maldova and France. 


            Please share

        "frankly speaking"

    spirituality for the street

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Happily some quirks are also spiritual quarks.