I was very, very religious. And of course I wrote about it in 'Night.' I questioned God's silence. So I questioned. I don't have an answer for that. Does it mean that I stopped having faith? No. I have faith, but I question it.
My greatest disappointment is that I believe that those of us who went through the war and tried to write about it, about their experience, became messengers. We have given the message, and nothing changed.
There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.
Fanaticism is the greatest threat today. Literally, the 21st century threatened by fanatics, and we have fanatics in every religion, unfortunately, and what can we do against them? Words nothing else, I'm against violence but only words.
With every cell of my being and with every fiber of my memory I oppose the death penalty in all forms. I do not believe any civilized society should be at the service of death. I don't think it's human to become an agent of the angel of death.
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
I listen to music when I write. I need the musical background. Classical music. I'm behind the times. I'm still with Baroque music, Gregorian chant, the requiems, and with the quartets of Beethoven and Brahms. That is what I need for the climate, for the surroundings, for the landscape: the music.
Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.
It is up to us to determine whether the years ahead will be for humankind a curse or a blessing. We always must remember that it is given to men and women to choose life and living, not death and destruction.
Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning. The tragedy of man is that he doesn't know how to distinguish between day and night. He says things at night that should only be said by day.
In the word question, there is a beautiful word - quest. I love that word. We are all partners in a quest. The essential questions have no answers. You are my question, and I am yours - and then there is dialogue. The moment we have answers, there is no dialogue. Questions unite people.
But the forces of evil have not abdicated. The malevolent ghosts of hatred are resurgent with a fury and a boldness that are as astounding as they are nauseating: ethnic conflicts, religious riots, anti-Semitic incidents here, there, and everywhere. What is wrong with these morally degenerate people that they abuse their freedom, so recently won?
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
It has become increasingly clear that Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary's past, namely the wartime Hungarian governments' involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens. I found it outrageous that the Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly could participate in a ceremony honoring a Hungarian fascist ideologue
No human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?
It is obvious that the war which Hitler and his accomplices waged was a war not only against Jewish men, women, and children, but also against Jewish religion, Jewish culture, Jewish tradition, therefore Jewish memory.
I cannot cure everybody. I cannot help everybody. But to tell the lonely person that I am not far or different from that lonely person, that I am with him or her, that's all I think we can do and we should do.
Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor - never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.
you can do something. You can, even for one person Don't turn away; help. Because those who suffer, often suffer not because of the person or the group that inflicts the suffering; they seem to suffer because nobody cares.
When you die and go to heaven our maker is not going to ask, 'why didn't you discover the cure for such and such? why didn't you become the Messiah?' The only question we will be asked in that precious moment is 'why didn't you become you?'
Remember also that it is not knowledge but the yearning for knowledge that makes for a complete, accomplished man. Such a man does not stand still but perseveres in the face of adversity, nor does he remain untouched by the pain cause by absence. On the contrary, he recognizes himself in each cry, uttered or repressed, in the smallest rift, in the most pressing need.
Never again becomes more than a slogan: It's a prayer, a promise, a vow. There will never again be hatred, people say. Never again jail and torture. Never again the suffering of innocent people, or the shooting of starving, frightened, terrified children. And never again the glorification of base, ugly, dark violence. It's a prayer.
We must choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children, between the ugliness of hate and the will to oppose it. Between inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves. Or not.
Nobody is stronger, nobody is weaker than someone who came back. There is nothing you can do to such a person because whatever you could do is less than what has already been done to him. We have already paid the price.
It used to be said that when the Baal Shem Tov came into a town, his impact was so strong, he didn't have to speak. His disciples had to dance or to sing or to preach to have the same effect. I think a real messenger, myself or anyone, by the very fact that he is there as a person, as a symbol, could have the same impact.