Elie Wiesel speaking in Jerusalem. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Elie Wiesel

Israel’s leaders mourned the death of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, the Romanian-born Holocaust survivor of Auschwitz who became one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians, and eulogized him as the embodiment of the human spirit that shined bright in the face of evil and darkness.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday that Elie Wiesel “personified the triumph of the human spirit over the most unimaginable evil.”

“The State of Israel and the Jewish people mourn the passing of Elie Wiesel. Through his unforgettable books, moving words and personal example, Elie personified the triumph of the human spirit over the most unimaginable evil. Out of the darkness of the Holocaust, Elie became a powerful force for light, truth and dignity. His life and work were a great blessing to the Jewish people, the Jewish state and to all humanity,” Netanyahu stated.

“I feel fortunate to have known him and to have learned from his prodigious wisdom. On behalf of all the people of Israel, Sara and I send condolences to the entire Wiesel family. May the memory of Elie Wiesel, a towering spirit who taught us all to remember, be forever blessed,” he concluded

President Reuven Rivlin spoke of his sadness on the passing of Wiesel, saying he “embodied the determination of the human spirit to overcome the darkest of evils.” “Tonight we bid farewell to a hero of the Jewish People, and a giant of all humanity. Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory, embodied the determination of the human spirit to overcome the darkest of evils, and survive against all the odds. His life was dedicated to the fight against all hatred, and for the sake of man as created in the image of God – he was a guide for us all.”

Wiesel was “one of the Jewish people’s greatest sons, who touched the hearts of so many, and helped us to believe in forgiveness, in life, and in the eternal bond of the Jewish people,” Rivlin said. “May his memory be a blessing, everlastingly engraved in the heart of the nation.”

‘Collective Moral Compass of the Jewish People’

Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat expressed his “deep sorrow” at Wiesel’s death.

“This was a sad evening for the Jewish people. Only a few months ago I had the distinction of bestowing Prof. Elie Wiesel with the “Honorary Citizen of the City of Jerusalem” award,” Barkat stated.

“Wiesel, who survived the horrors of the Holocaust and witnessed the cruelty of humanity’s darkest hour, chose not to surrender or despair. Instead, he delivered a message of peace and tolerance for all.”

“Elie Wiesel was a loyal ambassador and a true friend of Jerusalem, and has demonstrated unwavering support and empathy with the people of the city. His ability to touch the hearts of so many enabled his message and life’s work for the Jewish people and Jerusalem to become global, influence millions, and change the world,” Barkat concluded.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, himself a noted advocate of freedom, and his wife Avital eulogized Wiesel as “the collective moral compass of the Jewish people. He was the first to break the silence surrounding the plight of Soviet Jewry, and he accompanied our struggle until we achieved victory. We will miss him deeply.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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