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Abandoned by God, Betrayed by Mankind


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City Journal

Stefan Kanfer

29 January 2013


Open Heart, by Elie Wiesel (Knopf, 96 pp., $20)


Elie Wiesel has every reason to see the glass as half-empty. At 15, along with his unworldly father, mother, and sisters, he was taken from Sighet, Romania and sent to the death camps. Somehow, Elie survived Auschwitz—only to be assigned to Buchenwald. When the Allies liberated its prisoners in 1945, the traumatized orphan was taken to Paris, where he grew to young manhood, rootless and despondent.




Post-scandal, the Wiesels began to repair the catastrophic fiscal damage. That was when another blow descended. Fleeting pains led Elie to consult a physician, who had more bad news: the patient would need a quintuple coronary bypass. Last year’s ordeal of suffering and recovery is the subject of Open Heart.




Here is a generous man in a parsimonious epoch. Elie Wiesel’s small book could be read as a summing up or as part of a continuum that still has a way to go. The first might advance his reputation as a moral force bridging the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The second might advance the world.

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I would not normally say this but....

Elie Wiesel is a great humanist, a Jew in his faith- so a believer in the One True God.. (I did read his book some years ago about God on trial for being too hard on Jews.)

He and his family have experienced suffering and tribulations beyond compare. He has witnessed the worse evil can do..

So when Valin posted this book right after my post on Revelation... I could not but be reminded that

Very sad to me is the fact that Elie Wiesel is the perfect example of a son of Israel (a Jew)

who has not received his Messiah.



Romans 9:30-10:21


Israel’s Unbelief


30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:


“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble

and a rock that makes them fall,

and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[a]

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”[b] 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’”[d] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[e] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[g]



Edited to add - remember that the New Testament was mostly written in Greek and "Christ" is the Greek word for Messiah. Ultimately tragic is also the fact that the word "Christ" has become accursed for Jews. Hence you read Messianic Jews rather than Christian Jews.

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