Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Leo Baeck

German Reform Rabbi, Theologian, Spiritual Leader during Nazi Germany

"Service of God consists in what we do to our neighbor."

"The purpose of prayer is to leave us alone with God."

"All education starts with forbidding."

"All religion is an attempt to express... what is essentially inexpressible. Every new religion has to create its own language."

"Every answer given arouses new questions. The progress of science is matched by an increase in the hidden and mysterious."

"Honesty is the precondition for genuine scientific and scholarly work."

"It is in God that morality has its foundation and guarantee."

"Speedy external gains have always entailed internal loss."

"There is no new knowledge without a new problem."

"Through faith man experiences the meaning of the world; through action he is to give to it a meaning."

"Whenever the hidden, the unfathomable, is experienced whenever the meaning of all things is felt and grasped, then it is ether the devoutness of silence, that most intimate feeling of the living God, that deepest force of religious intuition and emotion, which takes hold of man, or, again, it is the uplift to imagery which is stirred up within him, the poetry which sings in prayer of the ineffable."

"Eternity is the great atonement of finitide. The earthly is reconciled with the endless. All atonement is fundamentally this: reconciliation of the finite and the infinite."

"Only through human freedom and responsibility are history and salvation able to fulfill themselves."

"Piety… respects the little – the little man, the little task, the little duty. Through the little, religion meets the greatness that lies behind."

"He who holds convictions, respects convictions."

"Perhaps a human being does not die until he no longer sees anything but the past and the present moment."

"A minority is always compelled to think. That is the blessing of being in the minority."

"Faith is the capacity of the soul to perceive the abiding ... the invisible in the visible."

"The mark of a mature man is the ability to give love and receive it joyously and without guilt. "