Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Eli Wiesel

Parsha Sh’motEilie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, Romania.

When he was fifteen, Wiesel and his family were taken to Birkenau and Auschwitz, Poland where he remained until January 1945 when, along with thousands of other Jewish prisoners, he was moved to Buchenwald in a forced death march. Neither of his parents or his younger sister survived. He was reunited with two remaining sisters after the war ended.

Wiesel is seventh from the left in the middle row.

In 1958, he published his first book, La Nuit, a memoir of his experiences in the concentration camps. He has since authored 57 books some of which use these events as their basic material. In his many lectures, Wiesel has concerned himself with the situation of the Jews and other groups who have suffered persecution and death because of their religion, race or national origin. He has been outspoken on the plight of Soviet Jewry, on Ethiopian Jewry and on behalf of the State of Israel today.

 Wiesel has lectured at colleges around the country and has been Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University since 1976. In 1978 he was appointed Chairman of the U.S.  Holocaust Memorial Council by President Jimmy Carter, and in 1985 he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Wiesel , his wife and his son Elisha live in New York City.

Works

  • Un di velt hot geshvign (Tsentral-Farband fun Poylishe Yidn in Argentine, 1956) (first version of Night)
  • Night (Hill and Wang 1958; 2006) (Personal account of the Holocaust)
  • Dawn (Hill and Wang 1961; 2006) Day, previously titled “The Accident” (Hill and Wang 1962; 2006) The Town Beyond the Wall (Atheneum 1964)
  • The Gates of the Forest (Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1966)
  • The Jews of Silence (Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1966) Legends of our Time (Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1968)(Artistically depicted memories)
  • A Beggar in Jerusalem (Random House 1970)(Novel)
  • One Generation After (Random House 1970)
  • Souls on Fire (Random House 1972) (First book of portraits and legends of Hasidic Masters: many of the most famous)
  • Night Trilogy (Hill and Wang 1972)
  • The Oath (Random House 1973) Ani Maamin (Random House 1973)
  • Zalmen, or the Madness of God (Random House 1974)
  • Messengers of God (Random House 1976)  (Biblical portraits)
  • A Jew Today (Random House 1978) (Essays and imaginative works on Jewish identity)
  • Four Hasidic Masters-and their struggle against melancholy (University of Notre Dame Press 1978)(Portraits of Hasidic Masters)
  • Images from the Bible (The Overlook Press 1980)
  • The Trial of God (Random House 1979)(Play)
  • The Testament (Summit 1981)
  • Five Biblical Portraits (University of Notre Dame Press 1981)(Biblical figures reinterpreted)
  • Somewhere a Master (Further Hasidic portraits, after “Souls on Fire”) (Summit 1982)
  • The Golem (illustrated by Mark Podwal) (Summit 1983) (Children’s book on the Jewish legend)
  • The Fifth Son (Summit 1985)
  • Against Silence (Holocaust Library 1985)
  • Twilight (Summit 1988)
  • The Six Days of Destruction (co-author Albert Friedlander, illustrated by Mark Podwal) (Paulist Press 1988)
  • A Journey of Faith (Donald I. Fine 1990)
  • From the Kingdom of Memory (Summit 1990)(essays and depictions after “A Jew Today”)
  • Evil and Exile (University of Notre Dame Press 1990)
  • Sages and Dreamers (Summit 1991)(Portraits of Biblical, Talmudic and Hasidic figures)
  • The Forgotten (Summit 1992)
  • A Passover Haggadah (illustrated by Mark Podwal) (Simon and Schuster 1993) 
  •  (Jewish liturgy)
  • All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs, Vol. I, 1928–1969 (Knopf 1995)
  • Memoir in Two Voices, with François Mitterrand (Arcade 1996)
  • And the Sea is Never Full: Memoirs Vol. II, 1969 (Knopf 1999)
  • King Solomon and his Magic Ring (illustrated by Mark Podwal) (Greenwillow 1999)
  • Conversations with Elie Wiesel (Schocken 2001)
  • The Judges (Knopf 2002)
  • Wise Men and Their Tales (Portraits of Biblical, Talmudic and Hasidic figures) (Schocken 2003)
  • The Time of the Uprooted (Knopf 2005)
  • A Mad Desire to Dance (2009)
  • Rashi a biography (2009)
  • The Sonderberg Case (2010)

Additionally, as Wiesel has offered a unique and poetic articulation of traditional Jewish thought and identity today, other books sometimes carry introductions or reviews from him:

  • A Vanished World by Roman Vishniac, forward by Elie Wiesel (published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1986)  classic photographs of Eastern European Jewish life from the 1930s

Critical analysis and appreciation of Wiesel’s position in the history of literature:

  • Student Companion to Elie Wiesel (Student Companions to Classic Writers) Sanford Sternlicht (Greenwood Press, 2003) Covers his personal and literary background, “Night”, main novels, and one chapter on his most important non-fiction)

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