Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Abba Hillel Silver

American Rabbi and Zionist Leader who mobilized American support for the founding of the State of Israel

"There is evil in the world, but it can be overcome through repentance and aspiration, and therein lies the true meaning and adventure in life."

"When is a man free? Now when he is driftwood on the stream of life... free of all cares or worries or ambitions... He is not free at all... To be free in action, in struggle, in undiverted and purposeful achievement, to move forward towards a worthy objective across a fierce terrain of resistance, to be vital and allow in the exercise of a great enterprise - that is to be free, and to know the joy and exhilaration of true freedom. A man is free only when he has an errand on earth."

"I believe in myself. I believe in the dignity and the nobility of the soul which God has implanted within me. Even as I believe in myself, I believe in my fellow men, for they are like unto me in gifts and capacities. I believe in work. I believe in the adventure of life. I believe in saving my soul from wealth and from poverty and from all the physical circumstances of life. They must not touch my soul. I believe in never growing old. I believe in never growing surfeited with life in never drinking too greedily and too hastily of the cup of life. I believe in disciplining myself to hunger for things. I beliefve that I owe a debt to my God and my fellowmen for the soul which God has given me and for the ducation which society has afforded me. I believe in service. First as a payment of a just debt, and secondly as the only avenue by which men and women can ever find or ever have found real soul contentment and happiness. I do not believe in being ordinary and average and commonplace. The one ambition of my mortal days would be to break through all the confining circumstances of my world to rise above the dead level of mediocrity and to raise others, to lead, even as I first am content to follow, to be a pathfinder, to blaze a trail through life."

"Faith in God is the great loosener of bonds. It frees us of all that binds, fetters, and shackles, whether it be the fear of life or the fear of death, whether it be the fear of power of others over us or fear of the lack of power within ourselves."

"The Bible nowhere calls upon men to go out in search of peace of mind. It does call upon men to go out in search of God and the things of God."

"Religion is the supreme art of humanity."

"There is no other reward but nearness to God, and there is no other punishment but estrangement from God. God does not reward us with wealth; God does not punish us with sickness. The good have suffered sickness and the evil have enjoyed wealth. The reward of a good life is goodness, and the reward of an evil life is evil. Kinship with God, or estrangement from God – that is Providence."