Dear Elie Wiesel,

Hello, Mr. Wiesel! My name is Adam Rokhsar, and I am a tenth grade student from Long Island. Recently, as part of our English curriculum, my class read your book Night. Although I had read the book before the class, I figured that I might as well read it again. As it turned out, reading the book a second time was a very good idea. The reason is rather simple. I'd like to thank you. I'd like to thank you for opening my eyes to the real world. When I first read Night, it left a lasting effect on me. However, through faults of my own, I felt pressured to read it in a rather short amount of time (don't ask why -- I'm not really sure myself).

The second time I read it, something different happened. I'm not quite sure why, possibly because I'm older now, and maybe a tiny bit wiser, but for one reason or another, the book struck something inside me. It was a nagging feeling, one which I couldn't put my finger on. It eluded me for days after completing Night.

Then, one night, while lying in that period of time between sleep and consciousness, it dawned on me. This feeling, which had been lingering this entire time, finally showed its true self. This feeling was, in fact, that somehow, someway, I had not noticed the world. I know it seems hard to believe, almost ridiculous, but it's true. I got the feeling that I was going about life in a little universe of my own creation. There, I lived, went to school, and learned everything I'd do in the real world. Except that there was one thing missing: awareness, awareness that I did exist at the center of the world, like I thought I did for sometime in my universe. In fact, in the whole grand scheme of things, who I was really didn't matter.

Now, you might think that this is a bad feeling, but there's more. I realized that I didn't matter, not because I was just no one, but because I never tried to be anyone. I never once helped the homeless or gave to charity. Not that I was a cruel person. I did my best helping friends, trying to be nice, polite, and all that other stuff your parents teach you. But, I guess what I'm trying to say is that all that "stuff" is what vanished in your ordeal. All the intangibles, the random acts of kindness, that was what really happened. And I learned from your book that if we continue to act as if only our little world is what matters, then perhaps history will repeat itself. But if we learn from your experience and the experiences of others, then something like the Holocaust won't ever happen again because people will care enough to stop it. Thank you your lesson.


Adam Rokhsar

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