Tuesday, June 06, 2006
"To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record."--Alfred Kazin
"Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art - Curt Leviant
My friend Mike Riddell has long been telling me i should read this book...so i have...Night is perhaps the most thought-provoking and reflective of all of Elie Wiesel's novels. It is a heartbreaking account of the limits of the human spirit and self to understand the wanton cruelty witnessed in this world...and more importantly where the hell God is in the midst of it all
The following excerpts made we weep and weep and weep
' Let us try and imagine what passed within him while his eyes watched the coils of black smoke unfurling in the sky, from the oven where his little sister and his mother were going to be thrown with thousands of others: "Never shall i forget that night, the first night in camp, which turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall i forget that smoke. Never shall i forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies i saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall i forget those flames that consumed my Faith forever. Never shall i forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall i forget those moments which muredered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall i forget these things, even if i am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never"
....And i, who believe that God is love, what answer could i give my young questioner, whose dark eyes still held the reflection of that angelic sadness which had appeared one day upon the face of the hanged child? What did i say to him? Did i speak of that other Israeli, his brother, who may have resembled him - the Crucified, whose Cross has conquered the world? Did i affirm the stumbling block to his faith was the cornerstone of mine, and that the conformity between the Cross and the suffering of men was in my eyes the key to the impenetrable mystery whereon the faith of his childhood had perished? Zion, however, has risen up again from the crematories and the charnel houses. The Jewish nation has been resurrected from among its thousands of dead. It is through them that it lives again. We do not know the worth of one drop of blood, one single tear. All is grace. If the Eternal is the Eternal, the last word for each one of us belongs to Him. This is what i should have told this Jewish child. But I could only embrace him, weeping.'