Eli Wiesel, one of the pillars of the Jewish world, who served as the “mouth” for millions of Holocaust victims and dedicated his life to commemorate the Holocaust in an attempt to prevent a second one, passed away.
As a talented writer, awarded countless laurels and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, his personal history is closely interwoven with the fate of the Jewish people. In 1944, when he was 15 years old, he was sent with his family to Auschwitz, where he lost his mother and one of his sisters. Later after the death march, his father died in Buchenwald. But Wiesel was lucky to witness the liberation of the camp by the Allied Forces.
Since then he invested all his energy to let the world know about the atrocities the Jews had undergone in those terrible years.
We met in New York for the first time when I was on a lecture tour in America. Against the backdrop of a global surge of anti-Semitism, I crossed the country from coast to coast to give a series of lectures and interviews. Then I was fortunate to get to know an exceptional personality. He was truly a noble man, an outstanding representative of his people. We quickly found a common language since we are both from families that survived the Holocaust.
Eli showed great knowledge in Jewish literature. Among other things he was familiar with the authentic wisdom of Kabbalah in which I engage. He was very worried about the growing anti-Semitic trend, and I shared my concern with him regarding the impending waves of anti-Semitism about which I have been writing all these years. He listened attentively.
During that conversation, I told him about the main message of the wisdom of Kabbalah, about the special role of the Jewish people in fulfilling the principle of unity, and that after we fulfill it between ourselves, we have to pass on the method of unity to all of humanity. Eli showed great interest in this view and we had a very fruitful conversation.
It is very hard to accept his death. Eli Wiesel was one of the giants of the Jewish spirit who championed the Jewish people, and the moral foundations and universal values of humanity.
We, the Jews living in the land of Israel, are indebted to this man. In the hour of farewell, we have to greatly honor his mission, which has been completed, but which has not ended. His mission has been passed on to us, and just like Eli Wiesel we are responsible for the future generations.
Blessed be his memory.