Saturday, August 04, 2012

Elie Wiesel: alone as God is alone

Elie Wiesel:

In the beginning, man is alone.  Alone, as God is alone.  As he opens his eyes, he does not ask: Who am I?  he asks: Who are you?  In the  beginning, man oriented himself solely to God--and all of creation defined itself in relation to man.  Before man, things were there, but did not really exist; under his gaze, they began to be.  Before man, time flowed, but it  acquired its true dimension  only as it penetrated man's consciousness.

Adam, the first being to have a name, to experience joy, surprise and agony; the first man to live both his life and his death; the first creature to discover bot the attraction and danger of secrets and knowledge.

To evoke Adam is to evoke the awesome mystery of the beginning, which we are forbidden to do, at least in public.  Ein dorshim, maase breshit bishnayam, says the Talmud.  The secret of creation may  be dwelled upon only when one is alone--as Adam is alone.  It is a subject which transcends language and understanding.  He who delves into it risks finding himself  cut off from the present and remaining isolated and silenced forever.

And yet, Adam is part of us to the extent that man recognizes that he is both  point of departure and fulfillment.  He knows where he his heading  but not whence he comes.  Yet he would like to know:  teh past intrigues him more than death.  He is obsessed more by Adam than by the Messiah.  Adam frightens him, and his fear resists the most glowing of hopes.  -Messengers of God, pp. 3-4

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