Open Heart

Open Heart

Elie Wiesel

Language: English

Pages: 79

ISBN: 0307961842

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Translated by Marion Wiesel

A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of his life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.

Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces and questions flash through his mind. His family before and during the unspeakable Event. The gifts of marriage and children and grandchildren that followed. In his writing, in his teaching, in his public life, has he done enough for memory and the survivors? His ongoing questioning of God—where has it led? Is there hope for mankind? The world’s tireless ambassador of tolerance and justice has given us this luminous account of hope and despair, an exploration of the love, regrets and abiding faith of a remarkable man.

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from prayer to prayer. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS With deepest gratitude I thank my doctors: Dr. Nirav Patel Dr. Howard Cohen Dr. Charles Friedlander Dr. David Seinfeld Dr. Stephen D. Nimer Their devoted care pulled me from the edge. E.W. A Note About the Author Elie Wiesel was fifteen years old when he was deported to Auschwitz. After the war he became a journalist and writer in Paris, and since then has written more than fifty books, both fiction and nonfiction. His masterwork, Night,

was a major best seller when it was republished recently in a new English translation. Wiesel has been awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor’s Grand Cross, an honorary knighthood of the British Empire and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1976 he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University. Other titles available in eBook format by Elie Wiesel: All Rivers Run to the Sea •

messenger, no doubt—moved me to gratitude. I ask weakly, so weakly that I’m afraid I’m not heard, “Do they know?” No need to be more specific; do Marion and Elisha know that I’m all right? Yes. Even before I woke completely, the surgeon himself went to give them the good news. We are reunited an hour later. The three of us, in our own way, try to cover up our emotion. 10 IS IT dawn or dusk? Elisha is with me, in my room. How long has he been here? I glance at the clock on the wall.

in. After the ceremony, I sat down and wrote a letter to my friend Georges Levitte, one of the great intellectuals of France, father of Jean-David Levitte, the future diplomatic counsel to Jacques Chirac and then to Nicolas Sarkozy. We were close friends and saw each other often whenever I was in Paris. Some time earlier, he had heard me on the radio saying that I planned never to marry and surely not to have children. Why? I quoted a Talmudic sage: “When God punishes a sinful world, it is

passions. When I miss a class, I am probably more disappointed than anyone else. Only later did I learn that during those days and nights, my life had been in danger. In truth, I had not given it any thought. In spite of the difficulty I had breathing because my lungs were filled with fluid, I was still able to read, reflect, dream. After a few months back in New York, I resumed my “normal” existence. If someone had suggested to me that the real ordeal still lay ahead, hidden in my chest, I

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