A Beggar in Jerusalem

When the Six-Day War began, Elie Wiesel rushed to Israel. " I staye to Jerusalem because I had to go omewhere, I wa to leave the present and bring it back to he past. You see, the an who ame to Jerusalem then came as a beggar, a madman, not elieving his eyes and ears, and above all, his memory. "

A haunting novel takes place in the week following the Six-Day War. A Holocaust survivor visits the newly reunited city of Jerusalem. At the Western Wall he encounters the beggars and madmen who congregate there every evening, and who force him to onfront the demon of his past and his ties to the present. Weaving together myth and mystery, parable and paradox, Wiesel bids the reader to join him on a spiritual journey back and forth in time, always returning to Jerusalem.

Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Le Mendiant de Jérusalem
Publication Date
Published May 1st 1978 by Pocket Books (first published 1968

Public Commentary

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I have not found his books to be confusing in some regard because it seems as if he writes in the past and present the same time.

The novel is a combinatio of the past and present in ay it ends always leaves me hanging.

I understand his writing fascinating but I don ’ t hink I could read two books in a row by him.

But s do read his writing is dark, hunting, and surprisin.

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Couldn ’ t tell if the main story took place in the Battle for Jerusalem 1947-48 or the Six-Day War in 1967 ( I sa it was his one?).

And like I state earlier, I kne a lot more about the more “ modern ” battles for Jerusalem.

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Evidently, given that I have seldom been mpressed by his author I had to writ the essay.

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It has its share of tragedy too ( you ca n't giv away from that when your history includes the Holocaust) but the focus is on ther things .... on the link between past and present, on memory and remembrances, on the blurred line between madness and spiritual insight, on how one 's soul clings to other souls even past death, be they family, friends, comrades, or Jerusalem, and how those who mean a lot to us lodge so deeply in our consciousness that they become part of us.

( I 'm really glad I got the ebook as well.) Because of the frequent jumping back and forth between past and present, his ook is better read as text, but more importantly, the arration is all wrong.

Thi hole time I was reading this, I kept wishing they 'd got Ralph Cosham to narrate.

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But quickl the internal logic of he memoi is absorbed, it comes clear as both a litera and literal story of the truggle of the Jews in Israel at the eginning of their nation.

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I 've yet read anything by Wiesel other than Night, but I alway enjoy his writing.

Another book eminds me of Paulo Coelho but with depth.

A nove made me a fan of Wiesel, not just a fan of Night.

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© Nicole Waggonner