On Sunday, I joined with my wife, Miriam, and my dear friend and partner in Birthright Israel, Michael Steinhardt, to welcome to Cooper Union the two people in the world most closely identified with standing up to genocide: Professor Elie Wiesel and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
Seventy years ago in Europe, my people, the Read More
The Eight-Day Week
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has tirelessly promoted Jewish values in a wild variety of different capacities, from his radio show on Oprah‘s station to his two-dozen books (including the best-seller Kosher Sex), to his TV show, Shalom in the Home, on TLC, to an ill-fated but groundbreaking run for Congress last year, to the jamboree weekly Read More
The moment that Elie Wiesel stepped onstage and gave his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1986 was the moment he became the public figure people most associate with survivors of the Holocaust. He turned into the living embodiment of survival—not just a hero for Jews, but for all of humanity, a man who not only lived through one of the darkest periods in history but was also able to relive it all through his writing.
But it’s important to remember, when talking about Mr. Wiesel as a writer, that he won the Nobel Peace Prize, not the medal for literature. While being an ambassador for peace is as noble as the Nobel gets, Mr. Wiesel did not receive the award for his prose—he won it because, according to the press release from the Nobel committee, he was one of the “most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world.” The release goes on several times to make mention of Mr. Wiesel’s “message,” but never once talks about his body of written works, which at present comprises 57 novels—including Night, the high school required reading that chronicles his experiences in the concentration camps and his liberation from them—two plays and a great deal that has yet to be translated from his native Yiddish. The main reason being that Elie Wiesel is a symbol, a public figure and a writer, in that order. At 83, it is his symbolic status that is most at stake in his latest novel, Hostage (Knopf, 224 pp., $25.95).
It’s Nobel week! And that means speeches from winners past and present. Holocaust survivor and laureate Elie Wiesel was at the 92nd Street Y last night when a very similar community center with vaguely religious affiliations, Park51, came up. According to the Daily News, this is what the author had to say: Read More
A story in this morning’s Times about a play that explores the relationship between Bernie Madoff and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel comes with a bizarre second-act twist: Wiesel sounds like kind of a jerk.
The 81-year-old author, Holocaust survivor and Madoff victim was so opposed to the play, Imagining Madoff, that he Read More
Watching President Obama in Cairo the other day, I was struck by his vision, ambition, and his desire to bring about change. Having voted for him in the New York primary last year and in the general election in November, I confess to having enormous sympathy for him. I root for him like he is Read More
As you probably already know, Bernard Madoff is heading to jail.
The New York Times‘ Diana B. Henriques and Jack Healy report that Mr. Madoff pleaded guilty to Judge Denny Chin this morning at United States District Court in Manhattan. Taking “breaking news” to new heights, The Wall Street Journal and its News Read More
As if the city’s charities didn’t have enough to contend with this holdiay season, it looks as though newly infamous investor Bernard Madoff is going to make things that much worse. Mr. Madoff, who is all over the news for squadering billions of dollars in high-profile money in a massive Ponzi Read More
Volatile publisher Judith Regan on Michael Wolff and his portrayal of her in his recent The Man Who Owns the News: "He’s grossly irresponsible. I’m going to sue him personally, so he’ll have to spend his own money. He projects his own perverted view of the world on everyone else. He is consumed with Read More
Public Editor Clark Hoyt wrote his column this weekend about the Times Bestseller List. What does it do and how does it work, he wanted to know; also, why was Elie Wiesel’s Night retired from the list last month despite the fact that it was still selling well enough to chart at Read More