Wednesday, April 19th 2017, 5:30-7:00pm
In Night, his candid autobiographical account of surviving the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel recounts this chilling scene:
One day as we returned from work, we saw three gallows… The SS [guards] seemed more preoccupied, more worried, than usual. To hang a child in front of thousands of onlookers was not a small matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was pale, almost calm, but he was biting his lips as he stood in the shadow of the gallows… ‘Where is merciful God, where is He?’ someone behind me was asking. At the signal, the three chairs were tipped over… Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive… The child, too light, was still breathing… And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death… Behind me, I heard the same man asking: ‘For God’s sake, where is God?’ And from within me, I heard a voice answer; ‘Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…’
Where is God when children suffer and die? Or when millions are systematically murdered? When tsunamis and earthquakes wipe out entire villages? When AIDS ravages entire communities? Where is God? Is He, in fact, hanging there from the gallows? Do the horrors of recent memory make belief in God incredible? Impossible? Irresponsible?
If you’re a graduate student at New York University, you are cordially invited to join us next Wednesday evening to grapple with these questions and more over hors d’oeuvres and wine. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for location details and to RSVP.