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Theodore Bikel's Quotes

Theodore Bikel profile photo

Born: 1924-05-02
Profession: Actor
Nation: Austrian
Biography of Theodore Bikel

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I do prefer the stage. It's really the granddaddy of them all.

Tags: Granddaddy, Prefer, Stage

I have always striven to raise the voice of hope for a world where hate gives way to respect and oppression to liberation.

Tags: Hate, Hope, Respect

I know for certain of only one commandment, one obligation, that God imposes upon us, and that is to be compassionate toward other human beings.

Tags: God, Human, Toward

I make no claim that Jewish culture is superior to other cultures or that the Jewish song is better than the song of my neighbor.

Tags: Culture, Neighbor, Song

I prefer to choose which traditions to keep and which to let go.

Tags: Choose, Keep, Traditions

I remain convinced that I can be a true universalist only when I am a better Jew.

Tags: Convinced, Remain, True

I'm exceedingly proud of being an actor, but I never recommend it to anyone.

Tags: Actor, Anyone, Proud

If I have one vanity wish, it would be to direct. It's the only thing I haven't done yet that I would like to.

Tags: Done, Vanity, Wish

In my mind the city of Ariel is a thorn in Israel's side and a serious obstacle to peace.

Tags: Mind, Peace, Serious

No doubt, unity is something to be desired, to be striven for, but it cannot be willed by mere declarations.

Tags: Cannot, Doubt, Unity

No movement can afford to be caught in a time warp and exist in a state of suspended animation.

Tags: Exist, State, Time

On the stage you're there, it's live. There's a beginning, a middle, an end. When something is funny you hear it right away.

Tags: Away, End, Funny

Right up to the middle of this century all perceptions of the world around us were delivered via the bookshelf or the paper route.

Tags: Century, Middle, Paper

The play is always fresh to me. It's not the audience's fault that I've said the words before.

Tags: Audience, Said, Words

Throughout my life I have cared as deeply about the songs of all peoples as I have about the rights of all peoples.

Tags: Life, Rights, Songs

We Jews have a special attachment to the Book. The study of page after page in tomes yellowing with age was obligatory.

Tags: Age, Book, Special

When something is moving you get that intake of breath and that stillness from the audience.

Tags: Audience, Breath, Moving

You don't really need modernity in order to exist totally and fully. You need a mixture of modernity and tradition.

Tags: Exist, Order, Tradition

You learn more from the flops than from the hits.

Tags: Flops, Hits, Learn

You learn more from the flops than you do from the hits.

Tags: Flops, Hits, Learn

But there is a difference here: When Jewish children are murdered, Arabs celebrate the deed. The death of an Arab child is no cause for celebration in Israel.

Tags: Children, Death, Here

By showing hunger, deprivation, starvation and brutality, as well as endurance and nobility, documentaries inform, prod our memories, even stir us to action. Such films do battle for our very soul.

Tags: Action, Battle, Soul

Despite a large body of work in films, TV, theatre and concerts, I am viewed by many as a Jewish artist. I do not resent the label, except for the fact that I disapprove of labels in general.

Tags: Artist, Fact, Work
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I tried for a while to be an agricultural worker and was hopelessly bored. I would stand around in heaps of manure and sing about the beauty of the work I wasn't doing.

Tags: Beauty, Bored, Work

I tried for a while to be an agricultural worker and was hopelessly bored. To me it was meaningless. I would stand around in heaps of manure and sings about the beauty of the work I wasn't doing.

Tags: Beauty, Bored, Work

In my world, history comes down to language and art. No one cares much about what battles were fought, who won them and who lost them - unless there is a painting, a play, a song or a poem that speaks of the event.

Tags: Art, History, Lost

One might have thought the world would stop ascribing moral equivalence between acts of terrorism and acts of punishing terrorism. It has not happened that way.

Tags: Between, Moral, Thought

What moves me is neither ethnocentric pride nor sectarian arrogance. I make no claim that Jewish culture is superior to other cultures. But it is mine.

Tags: Arrogance, Culture, Pride

While we all could agree that the Zionist ideal is alive and well, there is serious doubt whether the Zionist movement can be said to be an ongoing proposition, fragmented as its components are in ideology and in practice.

Tags: Doubt, Said, Serious

You always draw on your experiences with live audiences to know how to do comedy on films. You're working for a laugh that may or may not come six months later, but you're working in a vacuum at the time you are doing it.

Tags: Laugh, May, Time

All too often arrogance accompanies strength, and we must never assume that justice is on the side of the strong. The use of power must always be accompanied by moral choice.

Tags: Power, Strength, Strong

No doubt unity is something to be desired, to be striven for, but it cannot be willed into being by mere declarations.

Tags: Cannot, Doubt, Unity

We live in a world of guns, bombs and terror. To conquer hate seems a nigh-impossible task.

Tags: Guns, Hate, Seems

Must we be put to shame by much smaller and poorer countries, by Ireland, France, Austria or Sweden, who have understood that a nation's support of its arts is a matter of both national pride and cultural survival?

Tags: Matter, Pride, Put

I prefer to make common cause with those whose weapons are guitars, banjos, fiddles and words.

Tags: Cause, Common, Words

Although I am deeply grateful to a great many people, I forgo the temptation of naming them for fear that I might slight any by omission.

Tags: Fear, Grateful, Great

I am determined to give the Yiddish language a fighting chance to survive.

Tags: Chance, Fighting, Give

No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language.

Tags: Art, Language, Past

You can't expect the entire world to come to New York to see you. You have to travel to them.

Tags: Expect, Travel, York

After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not - or were not permitted to - read, were given sermons by the few who could.

Tags: After, Few, Word

As an artist I have an even more abiding interest in the compact between the Arts and Government.

Tags: Artist, Between, Government

Audiences are audiences.

Tags: Audiences

But, when I toil in the field of Jewish culture which I frequently do, I am indeed a Jewish artist.

Tags: Artist, Culture, Indeed

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. By what conduit do we know what we know?

Tags: Conduit, Knowledge, Study

Every actor wants to direct.

Tags: Actor, Direct, Wants

For I firmly believe that Jewish life, indeed any communal life, can only be organized according to democratic principles.

Tags: Democratic, Life, Principles

Having come to live in this age is as though one were to have entered another country. Learn its language or risk being left out.

Tags: Age, Another, Country

I always sang, I always acted, I always played.

Tags: Played, Sang

I am a universalist, passionately devoted to the cause of equality within the human family.

Tags: Equality, Family, Human

I am a Zionist, an ardent supporter of Israel, its defender when I deem Israel to be right and its critic when I deem it to be wrong.

Tags: Critic, Israel, Wrong

I am filled with awe that filmmakers have the capacity to stir us and give us back a sense of wonder.

Tags: Give, Sense, Wonder

I am not a specialist but a general practitioner in the world of the arts.

Tags: Arts, General, Specialist

I am not, and have never been, in favor of boycotting Israel.

Tags: Favor, Israel

I created the role of Captain Von Trapp.

Tags: Captain, Created, Role

I do not know who there is among us that can claim to know God's purpose and God's intent.

Tags: Among, God, Purpose
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