A Man for All Ages

A Man for All Ages -  Elie Wiesel was so much more than an author. He was a presence for the world - a living a kind of conscience for the things that we humans can sometimes do to one another. As an English teacher, and as a human being, it was always amazing to see the impact of his work on students. Frequently, I would assign the book Night to students to be read in one week, over a vacation or at times a long weekend. The book carries a message best read intensely, and I recall the discussion the first day that class met again. Perhaps the most poignant scene for adolescents was always the scene when the Nazis execute a young boy. Powerful, poignant, and symbolic - and all too certainly a recorded event. That scene represented the willingness of evil to cut off future life, a renunciation of progress, growth, and the promise of a better life. That Weisel lived to write and advocate for human rights in all forms and with such conviction that we can be better and do better is a testament to his human spirit. Maybe this struck me so profoundly when I saw Auschwitz and the execution wall. In his article on Sunday, Alan Dershowitz writes, "Elie Wiesel was my teacher, my “rabbi,” my mentor, my colleague, and my dear friend. Over the past 50 years, we worked together on numerous human rights projects. Elie did more to bring the word “human” into human rights than any person in modern history. For him, it did not matter whether the victims of genocide were Jews, Christians, Muslims, black, white, from the left or from the right. Human rights were equally applicable to all." This video is only one of several - Oprah presents the interview with sensitivity and accuracy. https://youtu.be/3ZvT3pX-AiU

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