When did I learn the Bible? When I was four or five years old. It's still the pull of my childhood, a fascination with the vanished world, and I can find everything except that world.
Look, if I were alone in the world, I would have the right to choose despair, solitude and self-fulfillment. But I am not alone.
That is my major preoccupation, memory, the kingdom of memory. I want to protect and enrich that kingdom, glorify that kingdom and serve it.
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.
What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.
In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn't instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism.
I remember, May 1944: I was 15-and-a-half, and I was thrown into a haunted universe where the story of the human adventure seemed to swing irrevocably between horror and malediction.
Sometimes I am asked if I know 'the response to Auschwitz; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don't even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.
We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.
It's clear to me that one can't be Jewish without Israel. Religious or non-religious, Zionist or non-Zionist, Ashkenazi or Sephardic -- all these will not exist without Israel.
I don't like docudramas. Documentaries should not go together with fiction, or half-fiction or quarter-fiction. The two should not go together. They cannot mix.
It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.
Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history.
I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.
I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again.
I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason.
Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.
Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.
I would like to see real peace and a state of Israel living peacefully alongside a state of Palestine.
When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.
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.
No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.
Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.