Witness by Ariel Burger


Elie Wiesel was a towering presence on the world stage—a Nobel laureate, activist, adviser to world leaders, and the author of more than forty books, including the Oprah’s Book Club selection Night. But when asked, Wiesel always said, “I am a teacher first.” In fact, he taught at Boston University for nearly four decades, and with this book, Ariel Burger—devoted protégé, apprentice, and friend—takes us into the sacred space of Wiese...

Details Witness

Release DateNov 13th, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir, Religion

Reviews Witness

  • Angela M
    “ If anything can, it is memory that will save humanity.” (Elie Wiesel) I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book. It was before the horrific event last week at a Pittsburgh synagogue where eleven people were murdered because they were Jewish. I thought about the Holocaust and the hate of the anti semitism that caused over six million Jews to be murdered and thought how could this happen now ? I was planning on reading it soon,...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 stars! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Ariel Burger was first a student, later a teaching assistant, and much later, a friend to Elie Wiesel, and he writes here of Wiesel’s time teaching at Boston University, something he did for over 40 years. The primary, most important task in Wiesel’s teachings was educating against indifference. In addition, he was passionate about individual responsibility and building more compassion through literature and the a...
  • Nat
    This book was exactly what I was seeking with Elie Wiesel’s memoirs: it summarises Wiesel's concise teachings on keeping history alive through morality and vulnerability. You're guaranteed to leave Ariel Burger's Witness with a changed perspective.Ariel Burger first met Elie Wiesel at age fifteen. They studied together and taught together. Witness chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over decades, as Burger sought ...
  • Jenny
    Egil Aarvik, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, once said "Eli Wiesel is a messenger to mankind. His message is one of peace, atonement, and human dignity. His belief that the forces fighting evil in the world can be victorious is a hard-won belief."Eli Wiesel was a father, husband, friend, humanitarian, author, Holocaust survivor and a teacher. Somehow the word teacher doesn't do justice to someone whose words continue to help us learn w...
  • Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!”If it be your willThat I speak no moreAnd my voice be stillAs it was beforeI will speak no moreI shall abide untilI am spoken forIf it be your willIf it be your willThat a voice be trueFrom this broken hillI will sing to youFrom this broken hillAll your praises they shall ringIf it be your willTo let me sing” -- If It Be Your Will, Leonard Cohen, Songwriters: Leonard Cohen / Patrick LeonardInstructions for life, or at leas...
  • Toni
    To give witness, typically, is to tell the truth. One tells what one saw, gives facts, details; what one witnessed.Ariel Burger, gives witness to what he learned from Elie Wiesel, in the classroom, in personal discussions, reading his books, and through both men's belief in their faith.Most people remember the witness Elie Wiesel gave to the Holocaust, the horror of its existence, the brutality of of its keepers, the smell of the death camps that...
  • Bruce Katz
    Some of the most moving and thought-provoking passages I’ve read in a very long time. This is the kind of book that leads you to ponder your own life, the choices you’ve made, the things you’ve done that you shouldn’t have and the things you didn’t do but should have, the values you have claimed as your own. For reasons that are likely quite obvious the book strikes me as particularly timely... and necessary.
  • Kelly Hager
    This book is one of the most profound things I have ever read, and that actually doesn't do it justice.When I was in college, my sociology professor said something along the lines of how we need to always believe that one person can make a difference in the world. "Look at Rosa Parks," she said. And it's true that one person can make a real, permanent difference, although most of us won't. Elie Wiesel did, and he devoted his life to showing other...
  • Donna Hines
    I've been a fan of Elie Wiesel since his appearance on Oprah Winfrey's daytime Talk Show back in 2006 and was captivated as much then as now . See link here about that episode: http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahshow/op... Since that time I've read a number of his books both by him and his students who were so lucky to have been able to hear his teachings in person.He is truly an amazing and captivating individual and you cannot mention his name witho...
  • Dan Curnutt
    What a very interesting read. The book is written about Elie Wiesel from the viewpoint of a former student then a teaching assistant and finally as someone whom Wiesel mentored through his life. Ariel Burger starts out talking about his upbringing in the Jewish faith in a family where one parent was orthodox and the other parent was apathetic. It makes for a strange upbringing.As a teenager Burger wonders about life, death and why God is not more...
  • Elinor Bashe
    For those of us who have imagined having the chance to speak with Professor Elie Wiesel, perhaps even to ask him a question about life, Witness offers us an amazing gift. In this riveting work, we hear Professor Wiesel’s words and thoughts not only in the university lecture hall, but also through the 20+ year relationship between him and his student, teaching assistant and friend, Ariel Burger. Whether discussing literature, philosophy or his o...
    Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger, who was Elie Wiesel's student, teaching assistant, and friend, discusses his mentor's influence in "Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom." Burger's sources include entries from a journal he kept; classroom notes; recordings of his conversations with Wiesel; and interviews with Wiesel's students from different countries and diverse backgrounds. Wiesel used literature, humor, music, parables, history, and current ev...
  • Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir
    The inspirational teaching methods of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel form the backbone of this important work by his one-time assistant, Ariel Burger, a writer, artist, teacher and rabbi.As a teenager, Burger became intrigued by this great man, who entered the Auschwitz concentration camps at roughly the same age as Burger was when the two first met. The contrast between his rather bland adolescent problems and the horrors that had beset the youn...
  • Isaiah
    To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.I got an ARC of this book.I read Night when I was in middle school. One of the other boys on the bus was reading it and let me borrow it. I read it in a single sitting. It is a book I haven't forgotten yet. I doubt I ever will. This book follows like Tuesdays with Morrie. Except this book is a bit less accessible. The main chunk of the book takes place in a grad school classroom. Many people never ...
  • Laurie's Lit Picks
    Having taught Night, Elie Wiesel's first book chronicling his horrific time in Auschwitz, for many years as a high school literature teacher, I could not wait to get this book into my hands. Ariel Burger was Wiesel's student for more than two decades and had a front row view of his teacher: his philosophies, his faith, and his extraordinary ability to open a classroom wide for his students. What I would have given to be a member of one of Profess...
  • Jonathan
    I doubt any review I provide about this book will do it justice, but what I will say is that I was impressed by the way Ariel Burger organized it. Reading it, I felt like I was in the same classroom as Elie Wiesel's students, absorbing his wisdom. Memory, Otherness, and Beyond Words are chapters that I will definitely return to for their insight into remembering the past, resolving conflict and producing art even when the subject may be too painf...
  • Beth
    Witness by Ariel Burger looks closely at Elie Wiesel and his teaching. Burger was a teaching assistant and friend to Wiesel and he writes this book with a loving hand and shares the brilliance of Wiesel in a way that is accessible and enlightening.It is easy to think of Wiesel as the Holocaust Survivor, or as the author of Night, but Witness allows us to see Wiesel the man and intellectual. He is a multi-faceted man and always explored notions of...
  • Joanne Tombrakos
    It's rare when a book captivates me so much that I can't put it down, but that is what happened when I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Witness. Ariel Burger takes us inside the classroom of Elie Wiesel, exquisitely weaving his own journey with the lessons he learned as Wiesel's student. At a time when it seems we are no longer talking to each other, this book is exactly what the world needs to get back into conversation and rem...
  • Justin
    I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.I liked the coverage of Elie Wiesel and after reading this book I have a deep respect for him and his ideas. On the other hand, this book meanders away from Elie's teachings for much of the book. Instead of talking directly about Elie's philosophy there is a great deal of meanderings and backstory that talk a bit too much about the author and the class she shared with Elie. While th...
  • Joseph Meszler
    An important and heart-warming book about Wiesel's effects on his students. Very worthwhile to see the man beyond just reading "Night." We should also understand Wiesel as a teacher and a role model.
  • Alicia Herrington
    Librarian: This is a book that I really hope we librarians can succeed at getting into the hands of readers. In an age of an ever increasing divide between people, this book serves as a reminder of the fact that as different as we all are, we are also the same. It offers all sorts of life lessons from a man who was one of the finest minds, and hearts of the last century. Unfortunately I feel like this book may not circulate as well as it deserves...