In the light of the Holocaust, the topic of forgiveness might stir some rousing discussion. Wiesel ends Night with his rescue and never addresses the topic of forgiveness until later writings. However, another Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, dedicates his entire novel Sunflower to the topic. When Mrs. Bethune and I heard two survivor testimonies this last summer, we were given the chance to ask questions after the speakers had finished. Both speakers were asked if they had been able to forgive those who had persecuted them and both gave diametrically opposing answers. When asked if she had been able to forgive the Nazis, one survivor without hesitation retorted, “Never!” The other survivor described how he went through a “process” of forgiveness. For our culminating discussion of Wiesel’s Night, each of you will examine your personal views on the subject of forgiveness. As you tackle the subject, it is important to understand the Jewish perspective on forgiveness. Jews believe there are two types of forgiveness. There is God’s forgiveness and human forgiveness. Humans cannot forgive transgressions between man and God, and God cannot forgive transgressions between man and man.
For the culminating assignment, you will be composing an essay. The essay will be composed with the following guidelines:
• One paragraph
• 166 – 216 words
• No more than nine sentences
For your topic you should assume the position of Elie Wiesel and determine how you would approach the subject of forgiveness. How would you approach the subject of forgiveness if you were in Wiesel's shoes?Create your topic/thesis statement around one of the following:
Elie should forgive.
Elie should not forgive.
The body of your essay should describe how and/or why.
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