Elie Wiesel, 1928-2016

 

Elie Wiesel, z"l

I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.
― from Elie Wiesel's Acceptance Speech on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1986

On April 11, 1969, Elie Wiesel, who described himself as “a teller of tales,” spoke at the Park Avenue Synagogue. The occasion was a Friday Evening Service on the occasion of Yom HaShoah. Wiesel describes his Judaism as a “gate through which I can reach out to others. If I help Jews I help Mankind.”

On January 8, 1971, Rabbi Nadich delivered a sermon, “Elie Wiesel - One Generation After.” The rabbi remarked that Wiesel “is the messenger of the six million - and he is the witness that speaks a testimony of their death.”

On April 1, 1986, a few months before Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he delivered the Sherr Lecture at PAS. His topic was “Reconciliation - Is it Possible? Is it Desirable?” Wiesel said, “Never before has the planet been united as it is now in fear. And the question is can we unite it in hope as well? And if so, where does the hope come from?”