This article argues that the impetus for Abraham Joshua Heschel's activism, contra Heschel himself, is found in the first part of his magnum opus—Torah min Hashamayim be-Aspaclarya shel HaDorot. It will argue that Heschel's activism is a religious solution to a theological problem, a problem which is spelled out as the tension between Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Akiva. Heschel describes God as suffering with Israel. This suffering (according to Rabbi Akiva) is an instance of the partnership between God and Israel. It will further suggest that this is a uniquely Heschelian model of what Oscar Romero, referred to as the transfiguration. Finally, it argues that Romero's transfiguration theology can help illuminate a part of Heschel's framing of Heavenly Torah which has largely gone unnoticed or has been ignored.

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