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Souls on Fire

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Souls on Fire is not a simple chronological history of Hasidism, nor is it a comprehensive book on its subject. Rather, Elie Wiesel has captured the essence of Hasidism through tales, legends, parables, sayings, and deeply personal reflections. His book is a testimony, not a study. Hasidism is revealed from within and not analyzed from the outside. "Listen attentively," Elie Wiesel's grandfather told him, "and above all, remember that true tales are meant to be transmitted—to keep them to oneself is to betray them." Wiesel does not merely tell us, but draws, with the hand of a master, the portraits of the leaders of the movement that created a revolution in the Jewish world. Souls on Fire is a loving, personal affirmation of Judaism, written with words and with silence. The author brings his profound knowledge of the Bible, the Talmud, Kabbala, and the Hasidic tale and song to this masterpiece, showing us that Elie Wiesel is perhaps our generation's most fervid "soul on fire."

Written by: Elie Wiesel


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Yair Borici
Yair Borici
Aug 23, 2022

One of my favorite reads! There's so much Chassidic wisdom Wiesel presented in there from the various historical figures. I briefly recall a parable where the student asks his master on whether to hire a ch'ristian carriage driver. The master advises the student to see if the driver respects the commandments of his doctrine and behaves accordingly, then he could hire him. The point of the parable is that of upright characters, who steer away from schemes (see Psalm 64) or hypocrisy (Psalms 34; 36).

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