Remembering Elie Wiesel, commencement speaker 1980

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Brandeis honored Wiesel with a Doctor of Humane Letters during the 1980 Commencement Exercises. Click below to read the text of his speech.

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Brandeis University mourns the death of Elie Wiesel. His singular voice urging all of humanity to never forget the 20th century’s most unspeakable and unimaginable evil made him one of the greatest humanitarians of our time.

A Holocaust survivor and a Nobel Laureate, Wiesel was honored by Brandeis with a Doctor of Humane Letters in 1980. In a long life dedicated to fighting genocide, hatred and bigotry in all their forms, Wiesel showed that Jewish values are indeed universal values.

Among these values is tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world. As we reflect on the contributions to human understanding and history Wiesel made through his writings, scholarship and advocacy, we should also remember that each one of us holds within us the power to repair the world, each in our own way.  

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