It is a long distance between this bitter, raging despair and the eloquent hope
expressed in Wiesel's cantata, Ani Maamin , written for the hundredth anniversary of
the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and performed at Carnegie Hall in
November, 1973. The title of this work means "I Believe" and refers to one of
the thirteen Maimonidean Articles of Faith: "I believe in the coming of the
Messiah." The cantata portrays the complaint to God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in
behalf of the Holocaust victims. When their plea is answered only by God's silence, the
patriarchs turn away from God to share the fate of the victims. Ani Maamin becomes
not the affirmation of the pious Jews who went to their deaths singing these words as a
hymn, but a defiant "I believe" in spite of what man has done and God has
allowed to be done. In this statement of faith, which is the culmination of Wiesel's
struggle with the Holocaust, there is neither superficial piety nor facile atheism.
Instead there is the vigorous determination of a "survivor of the holocaust who does
not put up with faceless fate but struggles for redemption with and against
our 'cruel and kind Lord' whose revelation in our times is only a deepening of his
hiddenness." [ 13 ]
In an extended definition , the logical definition is elaborated on by various means, all of which are used to make the concept clearer in the reader’s mind. It’s up to you to determine which ones you use, and in what order, taking into account what it is you are defining, what you think your readers know already, whether you think they are simply unfamiliar with the concept, or have got it mixed up with other, somewhat similar concepts, and whether they are already disposed to see things as you see them, or will need convincing.
For in my tradition, as a Jew, I believe that whatever we receive we must share. When we endure an experience, the experience cannot stay with me alone. It must be opened, it must become an offering, it must be deepened and given and shared. And of course I am afraid that memories suppressed could come back with a fury, which is dangerous to all human beings, not only to those who directly were participants but to people everywhere, to the world, for everyone. So, therefore, those memories that are discarded, shamed, somehow they may come back in different ways — disguised, perhaps seeking another outlet.