Sixteen-year-old Elie Wiesel in second row, seventh from left, days after his liberation from Buchenwald.
“They called him Moishe the Beadle, as if his entire life he had never had a surname.”
This is the opening line of the most widely read memoir of the Holocaust, "Night," by Elie Wiesel.
I had the opportunity to ask Professor Wiesel about Moishe the Beadle the other day when we sat down for an in-depth CNN Profile, which you can listen to here.
When Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize, the committee called him a Messenger to Mankind.
He is not the only Messenger to Mankind. But somehow the power of his story, and his words, and his character, made it possible for his testimony to have a global impact.
Moishe the Beadle was a messenger too. But the testimony he delivered was not received.
When Wiesel was a little boy, growing up in the town of Sighet, Moishe was the “jack-of-all-trades” at the local synagogue. The most menial job. The Beadle.
Moishe kept to himself. Few spoke to him. But young Eliezer Wiesel did.