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Elie Wiesel's Quotes

Elie Wiesel profile photo

Born: 1928-09-30
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Elie Wiesel

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What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.

Tags: Knowledge, Mean, Philosophy

After all, God is God because he remembers.

Tags: After, God, Remembers

Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.

Tags: Grace, Sometimes, Words

Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other.

Tags: God, Peace, Remember

I do not recall a Jewish home without a book on the table.

Tags: Book, Home, Jewish

Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.

Tags: Give, Life, Meaning

Wherever 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.

Tags: Men, Religion, Women

For in my tradition, as a Jew, I believe that whatever we receive we must share.

Tags: Share, Tradition, Whatever

I'll tell you what: I believe mysticism is a very serious endeavor. One must be equipped for it.

Tags: Endeavor, Serious, Tell

In the concentration camps, we discovered this whole universe where everyone had his place. The killer came to kill, and the victims came to die.

Tags: Die, Everyone, Place

That is my major preoccupation, memory, the kingdom of memory. I want to protect and enrich that kingdom, glorify that kingdom and serve it.

Tags: Memory, Protect, Serve

Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.

Tags: Culture, Future, Society

For me, every hour is grace.

Tags: Grace, Hour

I have to be self-conscious of what I'm trying to do with my life.

Tags: Life, Trying

I will say, with memoir, you must be honest. You must be truthful.

Tags: Honest, Memoir, Truthful

I've given my life to the principle and the ideal of memory, and remembrance.

Tags: Ideal, Life, Memory

Look, if I were alone in the world, I would have the right to choose despair, solitude and self-fulfillment. But I am not alone.

Tags: Alone, Despair, Solitude

Moses was the greatest legislator and the commander in chief of perhaps the first liberation army.

Tags: Army, Greatest, Perhaps

No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions.

Tags: Dreams, May, Speak

Not to transmit an experience is to betray it.

Tags: Betray, Experience, Transmit

Peace is our gift to each other.

Tags: Gift, Peace

The Bible is not only laws, it's also stories.

Tags: Bible, Laws, Stories

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

Tags: Sometimes, Soul, Win
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We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.

Tags: Despair, Else, Working

When I was young I lost everything.

Tags: Lost, Young

Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history.

Tags: Heart, History, Together

Sometimes I am asked if I know 'the response to Auschwitz; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don't even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.

Tags: Answer, Sometimes, Tragedy

I remember, May 1944: I was 15-and-a-half, and I was thrown into a haunted universe where the story of the human adventure seemed to swing irrevocably between horror and malediction.

Tags: Human, May, Remember

There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.

Tags: Beginning, Between, Book

In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn't instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism.

Tags: Coffee, Learned, Wait

It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

Tags: Car, Future, History

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Tags: Human, Silence, Suffering

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Tags: May, Time, Times

Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.

Tags: Friendship, Life, Love

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

Tags: Hate, Love, Opposite

I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.

Tags: Anger, Faith, God

I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again.

Tags: Death, Life, Remember

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.

Tags: Faith, Human, Wrong

Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.

Tags: Actually, Death, Dies

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Tags: Sides, Silence, Victim

Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.

Tags: Bring, Life, Once

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.

Tags: Epitome, Evil

Human beings should be held accountable. Leave God alone. He has enough problems.

Tags: Alone, God, Human

When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.

Tags: Gratitude, Her, Humanity

I write to understand as much as to be understood.

Tags: Understand, Understood, Write

In Jewish history there are no coincidences.

Tags: History, Jewish

Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another.

Tags: God, Hope, Peace

Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.

Tags: Despair, Duty, Remember

A destruction, an annihilation that only man can provoke, only man can prevent.

Tags: Prevent, Provoke

Some stories are true that never happened.

Tags: Happened, Imagination, True

I was very, very religious. And of course I wrote about it in 'Night.' I questioned God's silence. So I questioned. I don't have an answer for that. Does it mean that I stopped having faith? No. I have faith, but I question it.

Tags: Faith, God, Mean

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.

Tags: Memories, Truth, Words

Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.

Tags: Despair, Hope, Human

That I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life - that is what is abnormal.

Tags: Beautiful, Life, Love

I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.

Tags: Best, Desire, Remember

Man, as long as he lives, is immortal. One minute before his death he shall be immortal. But one minute later, God wins.

Tags: Death, God, Lives
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