In a crisis of faith, when faith is renewed, the man who initiates and leads the renewal is frequently not a spiritual character in the ordinary sense of the world, but one who draws his strength from an extraordinary union between the spiritual and tellurian powers, between heavenly and earthly fire, but it is the sublime which determines the earth-sustained frame. The life of such a man is a constant receiving of fire and transforming it into light. And this, which is and occurs within himself, is the cause of his two-fold effect on the world: he restores to the element of earth those whom pre-occupation with thought has removed from it, and those who are burdened with the weight of earth he raises to the heights of heaven.

Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim, Schocken Books, 1947, 35.

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Image: Detail of “The Tribe of Levi,” Marc Chagall / CC BY-SA, a work in the Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Israel, via Wikimedia Commons.