This weekend we lost a giant. Elie Wiesel passed away at the age of 87. The Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner may be best known for his widely read book “Night,” the story of his time in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was not only a Holocaust survivor, but an outspoken advocate for preventing similar atrocities from happening around the world.
Wiesel believed that we must always speak out against the horrors of genocide and mass atrocities wherever they occur.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
His teaching and wisdom is carried on in the work of Jewish World Watch. As Rabbi Schulweis said in his founding sermon, “We know how essential raising our voice is. We know that silence is lethal and feigned laryngitis, wicked.”
As we mourn the loss of such an inspiring man, we continue the important work of not remaining neutral, of not remaining silent, and of raising awareness and speaking out against atrocities that are committed today.
We remember these words of Elie Wiesel, and hope that they will continue to inspire others into action:
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”