The Hasidic Legacy of Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel identified himself as a Vizhnitzer Hasid, who was above all things a witness to the testimony and teaching of the Jewish tradition at the core of the Hasidic tradition. While he is well known for his testimony on the Holocaust and as a messenger to humanity, he is less well known for his engagement with the teachings of Jewish tradition and the Hasidic heritage that informs that engagement. Portraits illuminates Wiesel's Jewish teachings and the Hasidic legacy that he embraced by examining how he brought to life the sages of the Jewish tradition. David Patterson reveals that Wiesel's Hasidic engagement with the holy texts of the Jewish tradition does not fall into the usual categories of exegesis or hermeneutics and of commentary or textual analysis. Rather, he engages not the text but the person, the teacher, and the soul. This book is a summons to remember the testimony reduced to ashes and the voices that cry out from those ashes. Just as the teaching is embodied in the teachers, so is the tradition embodied in their portraits.