BookFest In Your Living Room Presents
David Patterson – Portraits: the Hasidic Legacy of Elie Wiesel and
Alan Rosen – Filled with Fire and Light: Portraits and Legends from the Bible, Talmud, and Hasidic World
Zoom Author Talk & Q & A
Presented with The University of Texas at Dallas Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies
Tickets: Free to attend
Explores Elie Wiesel’s portraits of the sages of Judaism and elaborates on the Hasidic legacy from his life and his teaching.
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.
About the Author: David Patterson holds the Hillel Feinberg Chair in Holocaust Studies in the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas. A member of the World Union of Jewish Studies and the Association for Jewish Studies, he has delivered lectures at numerous universities and community organizations throughout the world. He is a participant in the Weinstein Symposium on the Holocaust, a member of the Facing History and Ourselves International Board of Advisors, and a member of the Scholars’ Platform for the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, Cambridge, England. He also serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Stephen S. Weinstein Series in Post-Holocaust Studies, published by the University of Washington Press.
Here are magnificent insights into the lives of biblical prophets and kings, talmudic sages, and Hasidic rabbis from the internationally acclaimed writer, Nobel laureate, and one of the world’s most honored and beloved teachers.
From a multitude of sources, Elie Wiesel culls facts, legends, and anecdotes to give us fascinating portraits of notable figures throughout Jewish history. Here is the prophet Elisha, wonder-worker and adviser to kings, whose compassion for those in need is matched only by his fiery temper. Here is the renowned scholar Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, whose ingenuity in escaping from a besieged Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction by Roman legions in 70 CE laid the foundation for the rabbinic teachings and commentaries that revolutionized the practice and study of Judaism and have sustained the Jewish people for two thousand years of ongoing exile. And here is Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad Hasidism, languishing in a Czarist prison in 1798, the victim of a false accusation, engaging in theological discussions with his jailers that would form the basis for Chabad’s legendary method of engagement with the world at large.
In recounting the life stories of these and other spiritual masters, in delving into the struggles of human beings trying to create meaningful lives touched with sparks of the divine, Wiesel challenges and inspires us all to find purpose and transcendence in our own lives.
About the Editor: Dr. Avraham (Alan) Rosen is the author or editor of fourteen books. His most recent book, The Holocaust’s Jewish Calendars, has been awarded the Yad Vashem International Book Prize. He has taught at universities, colleges, yeshivas and seminaries in Israel and the United States, and lectures regularly on literature and testimony at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies and other Holocaust study centers. Born and raised in Los Angeles, educated in Boston under the direction of Elie Wiesel, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.