February 13, 84

Vol. ii , No. 07   

View Entire Issue (Vol. ii , No. 07)

Jewish-Christian Relationships
Tuesday, February 21, 1984

What Could the Ancient Masters Teach Our Generation?
Wednesday, February 22, 1984
8:00 p.m. Bridges Auditorium

Biblical Personalities
Thursday, February 23, 1984 12:00 p.m.

His is a voice, deep and rambling, which seems to come at us from another time, stretching across a vast panorama of suffering, both physical and mental, reaching out to sooth, to explain, to understand. Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, author of many commentaries on the Holocaust and the war, will be staying at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum from February 21 through the 23, with a dinner held in his honor on the first night.

There has been a great deal written in the various campus newspapers about this man and his life, a life which was suddenly torn up at its roots in 1944. Born in 1928 in the town of Sighet in Transylvania, Wiesel was but a child when he was taken from his home, and it is the memory of this cataclysmic experience that he writes of in his best known work, Night (1961). Since the war, Elie Wiesel has been struggling to derive an understanding, to give meaning to words such as God and existence, terms which seemed at a poverty of importance after the first of the Holocaust ripped through Europe and into the conscience of humanity.

I have never met Elie Wiesel, but I have seen his picture and heard him speak. There is something about all men who have suffered, and then grapple with that same agonizing experience - something in their gaze which arrests the audience. It is our good fortune that we will be able to break bread with this man, our brows furrowing as well as we come to grips with questions whose answers lie only in the raising of all voices.

Author, philosopher Wiesel will be the honored quest at dinner on Tuesday, February 21, beginning with a reception at 5:30. This is sure to fill up quickly, so please be sure to turn in the tear-off as soon as possible. A tea, at which Elie Wiesel can be heard on a more informal basis, will commence 3:00 on Wednesday, February 22.

In his book, Messengers of God (1976), a work which looks at Biblical portraits and legends, Wiesel writes, "When I was a child, I read these Biblical tales with a wonder mixed with anguish. I imagined Isaac on the altar and I cried. I saw Joseph, prince of Egypt, and I laughed. Why dwell on them again? And why now? It falls to the storyteller to explain."

For so many, Elie Wiesel is that storyteller.