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June 01, 1984 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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INWAYMISIMMara

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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the Soviet Union's equivalent of At-
torney General.
Their scheduled 30-minute.
meeting lasted two hours. Rudenko
told Wiesel that he knew Wiesel had
met with 50 refusenik leaders earlier
in the week, and Rudenko listed
Wiesel's "anti-Soviet" activities
through the years.
Rudenko accused Wiesel of being
a political person. Wiesel responded,
"I write about freedom and Chas-
sidim and my people. If you have
problems with my books, that is your
problem," Wiesel gave Rudenko a list
of prisoners of conscience.Although

Rudenko claimed not to know any of
the names, he had personally prose-
cuted the case of each person on the
list. Wiesel said some of the prisoners
were allowed to leave Russia after he
met with Rudenko.

Wiesel concludes his talk with
another reference to Moses, using
him to illustride a personal relation-
ship with God and re-emphasizing
the modern parallels for the Biblical
story. "Moses died, but his story, his
life, his law live on within us. We
must not Agog"



Friday, June 1, 1984

the Jewish people. Any topic — The
rules are found for it in the story of
Moses."
He compared the Holocaust to
the story of Pharaoh. "The Jewish
children were the first targets. It was
the same thorughout history . . . with
Haman, with Hitler. Moses was
thrown into the Nile. The beautiful
Egyptian princess 'saw' him cry. Not
heard him cry but saw him cry. The
Talmud says that Moses wanted to
show that some Jews can cry without
tears."

Elie Wiesel, modern philosopher
of Jewry, discusses gratitude. He de-
scribes his Chassidic grandfather
saying his morning prayers and
thanking God for ,allowing us to dis-
tinguish between day and night.
One day, Grandmother ques-
tions Grandfather. "Why do you
thank God for this ability? Even the
animals have this ability." But
Grandfather points to the rooster in
the yard, who pecks at the ground
and throws his head back to swallow.
"See," said Grandfather. "He eats,
and then looks up to God to say thank
you." _
All this to indicate the need for
gratitude. He continues the theme by
returning to the Moses story and
draws in modern parallels.
Wiesel touches on assimilation,
on the Messiah, on disharmony
within Jewry. All are taught through
the ancient story of Moses. And he
admonishes his audience about the
evils going on around us "while we
sleep." Violence in Lebanon and Ire-
land, the Iran-Iraq war and Soviet
Jewish dissidents all on Wiesel's list.
"Yet we are asleep, and we sleep well.
There is no thunder to wake us up."
"Hundreds of missiles are being
built every day. Do you want to tell
me they won't use them. Iraq would
have used them (against Iran) if Is-
rael hadn't wiped out their reactor.
Khomeini would use them, and yet
we sleep."
He talks of the plight of Soviet
Jewry and mentions his three.trips to
the Soviet Union. Wiesel was
granted his last visa to the USSR in
1979 only after the White House had
intervened on his behalf. He had
written a book and a play critical of
Soviet policy and gave hundreds of
speeches on behalf of Soviet Jewry
after his first two visits. In 1979,
Wiesermet with Procuator Rudenko,

.

Elie Wiesel:
modern philosopher
of Jewry

.
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15

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