Blog Posts on Elie Wiesel, “Longing for Home”

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30 thoughts on “Blog Posts on Elie Wiesel, “Longing for Home”

  1. In Elie Weisel’s “Longing for Home”, one of the main themes is exile. Weisel argues that life is a series of exiles and that the story of adulthood itself is exile. We are consistently being exiled, breaking away from family, friends, acquaintances, surroundings, culture, language, or work. To be exiled means to begin again elsewhere. Our longing for a home as people is our actual home. We can never be in an official home for we constantly being exiled, that is why Weisel believes that exile may be the best home. But is exile the best home? In my opinion exile is essential for a human to realize the importance of their actual home. But I believe it is best for a person to have a physical place to call home that you can connect with, I believe having a physical home is an important factor that allows a human to remain psychologically sane. If a person is never exiled, however, they would not realize the importance their physical home has on their life. That is why it is important to be exiled so a person can appreciate the impact of home. A goal of Weisel’s is a future when every human being everywhere will feel at home, whether at home is in a person’s faith, country, or socio-ethnic environment. I think this is an important point because it brings up the discussion that home does not just have to be a physical location. Home can be unique to each individual, it is just important that whatever ‘home’ is to a person they find it and embrace it.

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    • 2 points (second posting of the week). Wiesel’s essay is challenging since “exile” by definition is when you don’t have a home to go back to, that you’ve been banished from that home in some way. So is it possible to be exiled and have a physical home to go to at the same time?

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  2. In “Longing for Home” by Elie Wiesel, Wiesel talks about exile and how it is constantly occurring in our lives. When I think of exile, I think of people fleeing countries. Wiesel explains that exile not only can occur when fleeing a country but it happens in many parts of our lives without us even realizing it, such as us breaking ties with friends or even having a new beginning with ourselves. I think that exile mostly just means to bring about new change, sometimes that can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. I think for the most when getting exiled from a country it is a good thing because the people leaving their countries to escape from something bad. Although, they are having to leave their “home” it is more than likely that them leaving behind what they know for a new beginning is better than their homes. In Wiesel’s case him being exiled from his home was a bad thing, for being a Jew during his time period was not a good thing.

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    • 5 points. If we follow through on a lot of the definitions of home we’ve encountered, wouldn’t exile always be a bad thing, at least in significant part? There certainly may be bad things we’re escaping, but at the same time, if it’s really home, then the separation is devastating (think of Sanders and his idea about changing homes and you bleed).

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  3. “Longing for home” is an article that focuses on the theme of exile and how when we grow older we exile ourselves from our family to go and start a family of our own. When we moved away to go to college we were, in a way, exiling ourselves from our home and family. Though exile seams like a harsh word, in this context it is just distancing ourselves from what we know so we can grow as an individual. Exile is necessary for ones individual growth. Are you familiar with “Darkness is the absence of light”? What this means is that we would not recognize or appreciate darkness if their was no light. The light is what opens our eyes to the darkness. Just like this saying, we ourselves need exile to truly appreciate what we had. I would have never of recognized this longing for home and this heart ache for home if I never left. So when I go home I don’t take the time I have there for granted. So this exile we talk about actually a good thing I believe but that doesn’t mean you have to leave and never go back.

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    • 5 points. Separation can certainly be important to appreciation. But “exile” means something much more significant than just separation, doesn’t it? Do we truly need to exile ourselves? When you go to college, you’re creating some separation from your home and family, but you’re really not “exiling” yourself or being “exiled,” are you?

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  4. In Elie Wiesel’s “Longing for Home,” he discusses the relationship between the home and exile. Wiesel begins by suggesting that the opposite of home is being a stranger. He considers that one can actually be a stranger in one’s home due to a possible feeling of longing for somewhere else. If you are at home, longing to be somewhere else, your current situation cannot be your home.Wiesel then connects the sense of longing with being in exile. He says that because we are longing to be somewhere else so often, we are in a constant exile throughout our life. Exile has always been a part of human life, beginning with Adam and Eve. Wiesel writes that perhaps, exile is our home and is the best one at that. However, I have to disagree with this. I do not think that exile can be the best home. I believe that being in exile will create a longing for home and reveal what your true home is. For example, after moving away to college and being separated from my family and everything that I was so familiar with, I had a sense of longing for my home. I was, essentially, exiled. This brought me to the realization of where my real home is. I think that without being ‘exiled,’ one cannot be sure where their true home is.

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    • 5 points. I’ve raised the question in some previous responses, too–is separation the same as exile? Exile is usually a more permanent, or at least more dramatic–and usually forced–separation from home. Do we truly need to experience “exile” in order to realize where our true home is?

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  5. I want to post some of my ideas about sander’s “after the flood”.This chapter is the beginning of his book staying put and it showed a lot of his characteristic in his essay and his life such as his descriptive language and passionate wording.For example”It was a gray day, a day to immunize one against nostalgia,a day safe,I supposed,for facing up to what I had lost”.In this sentence,I can feel his grief heart with his hometown’s changes and a little bit disappoint for the result of the reservoir.He focus a lot about his experience and feeling after he grow up and return to his hometown due to work requirement.His idea is that whenever we stay in the end,first land we stayed were always our first impression with our cutest planet.Sander used an impressive metaphor about water and life to end this essay and remind us we should always make sure that changes in our location don’t make so much damage and negative effect for part of our home-the memory of our home.This sad essay with sander’s enthusiasm make an intense crush with those negative effect made by creation of reservoir and become the corner stone of this book.

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    • 5 points. You’ve tapped into Sanders’ ability to express emotion through imagery very well. Not only is he able to express emotion, but I think it’s admirable that he’s willing to put our understanding of home int he context of emotions in the first place.

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  6. In “Longing for Home”, which is written by Ellie Wiesel, it focuses on one key concept throughout the writing. This on key concept is the concept of exile. One of the main points that Wiesel makes in his piece of writing about exile is that exile occurs throughout everyone’s life. Exile even existed from the time of the first humans, as Adam and Eve were exiled from the garden of Eden. Wiesel mentions the type of exile that everyone knows, which is when someone or some group flees a country. However, Wiesel also explains to us that there is a different types of exile. He talks about exile from families, friends, cultures, and many other things. One popular type of exile that some people may not even think is a form of exile is going off to college. When you go to college, you exile yourself from your family and friends. Another point that Wiesel made, that we talked about in class, is that he says that exile is our home. I do not agree with this statement. Being in exile away from home, only makes a person think about home even more, and they start to miss it more.

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    • 5 points. I’ve raised this question with other responses above, too–isn’t separation from home much less significant than “exile”? When we go off to college, we are rarely banished from home, which is really what exile is all about. And, yes, that does make us miss home more!

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  7. In Elie Wiesel’s article called “Longing for Home” the main idea is the subject ‘exile’. Exile has a basic, common definition of someone leaving his/her country for another country. Wiesel talks about exile not just being that, but humans constantly going through different forms of exile throughout their life. Longing for home comes from exile and I think that in order to know what home is and appreciate it, one must be exiled from it. One doesn’t realize how much a place or something might mean to him/her until it is taken away from them. Wiesel talks about how longing for home is part of the human condition as he also mentions, “That we know since the origins of creation. After Adam and Eve, all their descendants were exiled from a woman’s womb into a cold and indifferent world.” Wiesel is basically saying that exile and longing for home is a necessary part of life, which makes longing for home be home itself. I believe that it is important for someone to know the importance and worthiness of what they call home by being exiled from it, away from it to actually miss it and know that they have a connection with it.

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    • 5 points. As I’ve noted in other responses above, do we have to go to the drastic extent of “exile” in order to miss and appreciate home? Is the absolute longing for home through exile necessary, or can we appreciate home through a less extreme kind of separation?

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  8. Elie Wiesel’s reading, “Longing for Home,” revolves around the main idea of home being exiled. He starts to explain this idea by saying that “being a stranger in exile is the opposite of living at home.” Furthermore, he explains how exile is part of the human life. As we grow older we exile ourselves in order to grow, move on, make a family, etc.On page 23, he defines exiles as, “…breaking with family, friends, acquaintances, surrounding, culture, language, and work. Exile means beginning again—elsewhere—an existence filled with ambition, anxiety, and occasional reward, in the midst of new friends or adversaries.” One prime example that he uses is school/college, many students they have to exile themselves from their home and communities in order to receive richer education somewhere else. Now, does this mean that I agree with Wiesel that exile is home? Certainly, not. Though I believe that being exiled certainly does make you appreciate your home, and makes you think about where you truly belong or at least makes you think about where you want to belong. As I think about this more into depth, my own parents have actually exiled themselves from their own families and home. Both of my parents migrated to the United States in the late 1900’s, they did it in order to raise a family where we would be given more opportunities than we would in Mexico. When I look back at Wiesel’s definition of exile, about existing will “ambition, and anxiety, and occasional reward,” I think of my parents, they not only break away from their families, friends, and culture, but they came in hope and ambition, to raise their children to become successful at life through getting an education, and eventually they would reward themselves by proudly watching them graduate college and being successful in life, filled with such satisfaction they did the right thing in migrating.

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    • 5 points. “Exile” usually means something more significant than just going to college (though Wiesel does use the example), and your parents certainly took bold steps in separating themselves from what they knew in order to pursue better opportunities.

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  9. Elie Wiesel in “Longing for Home” presents some ideas on home that are very different from the norm. Elie Wiesel has had life experiences that very few people in the world can even compare too. He survived a Jewish concentration camp in World War II while many of his friends and family died and his home was basically destroyed. These life experiences have lead him to this idea that exile can be good and a longing for the future. I think Elie Wiesel’s ideas might not apply to everyone because for many people getting exiled would be like death. At least for me death almost sounds better than getting exiled because at least with death you don’t have to go through all the pain of losing everyone and everything you have known and worked for your whole life. Imagine how devastating it is to lose your whole family and still have to keep living. However, I do believe that if you make it through all the pain after exile you might gain something that you might have otherwise never of got. In essence I believe being exiled can be beneficial in some extraordinary situations but for the most part I see it as almost worse than death itself.

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    • 5 points. It’s true that Wiesel experienced perhaps the worst kind of exile imaginable. The spirit of survival was obviously strong in him. Probably no one would choose exile deliberately even if good can come of it as Wiesel suggests; how we deal with exile when it is forced on us says a lot about our character.

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  10. As we have been saying since the first class that home is a different place for everyone. After the reading that we have done by Eile Wiesel my idea of home may be different from what I had said the first day of class. The first day of class my reply to your question of what is home was my home where my family is. This is because we have moved a few times and right now our in the process of moving again a physical place for home is not exactly an option. While I was reading the reading I started to think about my Grandparents house on my Dad’s side. All of the memories that I have there and how if I think hard enough I can even picture myself there detail by detail. The patterned sofas navy with flowers, grandmas pillows with saying abut family that never seemed to match, how I could walk up to the little peek hole in the kitchen and ask uncle John for a slice of the turkey breast because everyone knew I was the favorite. I picture surprising grandma and right before I would ring the doorbell Dad would say “it’s your house too just walk in”. I remember sitting there talking to grandpa having conversations that I will never forget that still bring tears to my eyes every time I go back over there and see his picture sitting there on the little table next to his favorite chair. Gramndma always has the heat turned up to a little over toasty so that if you are there long enough it always seems cooler outside every in the summer. Water and pop in the fridge in the garage but the Diet is for Aunt Dorthy and the caffeine free for Grandma. Granda always has sweets weather it be chocolate, or those huge swirl ice creams that come in individual packs, or even some life savor mints for the ride either way I always tell her Mom will kill me if I bring anything home. But would I really be going home or just leaving home and this passage really made me come to the conclusion that unlike the author I have more than one home.

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    • 5 points. This is a moving response! A nice little essay in itself! I’m glad that our course material is helping you consider what “home” means in different ways and that it has sparked such thoughtful reflections, too.

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  11. “Longing for Home” by Elie Wiesel was a really good read for me. He makes an argument that the meaning of home is being exiled. He has a very way of explaining what home is compared to the other authors we have studied this semester. Elie says that ever since the moment we are born, we are in constant exile. Even though we are still loved by our parents and friends, we will always be on our own trying to find the answer. We are always searching for what we want home to be, but in the end we spend the entire time just searching, not knowing what we need. In the story, he talks about why Isreal is always being attacked, but Elie mentions that everyone one of the great prophets had been exiled. From Adam & Eve, to Moses, Abraham and Cain. Instead of mentioning what home actually is, he says it like this, “we lose the idea of home not when we leave and wonder, but the moment we forget.” That really means a lot, that we can search forever but as long as we remember our upbringing, and keep the memory alive, we will be at home.

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  12. In Wiesels “Longing for Home” he discusses the similarities between home and exile. These are 2 words that you very rarely will hear in the same sentence and thats exactly what I like most about this article. He’s very vivid and descriptive when he gets into detail about what the idea of home actually can be. People can be at home no matter where they are and what they are doing, if were able to keep our composure and find happiness in anywhere at anytime we can find ourselves feeling at home. Being able to move on from things is one of the harder things for all of us to do, but if we’re able to do it successfully it opens up the doors to so many more opportunities and ideas since we aren’t cooped up with our original ideas and “homes,” and I feel like Wiesels was really trying to stress this throughout the piece.

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    • 5 points. It’s very true that Wiesel gives us a perspective that’s quite different from nearly all of the writers we’ve looked at. I’m not sure that he’s talking about “happiness” at all, which is a word you suggest. Usually we do associate the word “happiness” with home, but I think, especially given Wiesel’s horrific experiences, that he has a perspective on life and home that go beyond happiness. Does he really talk about happiness in the essay?

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  13. At first, It was hard for me to understand this piece but it got a lot better after I was informed he was a survival from holocaust. Wiesel says that humans are experiencing exile in our lives. Understanding that Wiesel was a holocaust survival, it even more makes sense that his home should be exile. I also pondered to see if I agree with his idea. I found out that we are expereiencing exile unconciously. Going to a college after highschool without parents, start working in a place where you are not familiar with are great examples of exile. I also think that the word ‘exile’ will be easily interpreted as a negative word. However, the word actually means another start in a new place. Although one may leave the place that he/she likes, a new start is always there as soon as your exile. However, I cannot agree with the idea that exile is our best home. The word ‘best’ should mean what you like the most. After experiencing a countless exiles throughout your life, it is very important to have a best home that you can live for the rest of your life.

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    • 5 points. Wiesel’s Holocaust experience certainly gives him a unique perspective on home. You’ve got some very good personal perspective yourself! I think from Wiesel’s perspective, “best” does not necessarily mean what you like the most. Often the experiences we need in life or that improve us the most–or reveal truth to us the most, perhaps–are not ones that we like at all. If Wiesel sees exile as the ultimate truth of what “home” is, then it’s best for us to experience whether it’s what we like or not. 🙂

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  14. In Elie Wisels “Longing for Home” he looks over many issues that are overlooked by big factors in society. One of them being being analyzing the many meanings of home. He talks about how we are immediately faced with exile right after birth. When you are little you believe the world revolves around you but this simply is not the case. Every thing does not simply fall in your favor or go the way as planned, this is why you must find the answer yourself. Me and him both believe this is a good thing in society since all these great things we find to be true would not be as great without the natural problems that home/society may bring. There must also be problems to know wether your working towards a greater thing or feeling. If there was nothing perceived as right or wrong, one would be clueless what they are doing and there would be no influence to change. This quote I found very interesting about exile and longing for home,”God does not create a longing or a hope without having a fulfilling reality ready for them. But our longing is our pledge, and blessed are the homesick, for they shall come home.” Overall I believe that Elie was looking at our importance to home and also the importance to leave a home and find a new one(s) elsewhere.

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    • 5 points. Wiesel certainly does give us a unique perspective on home, and I’m glad he spurred some interesting thoughts for you. I must admit I got a little lost in following what you were saying in the middle, but I agree that much of Wiesel’s point is that home is about more than us as individuals.

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  15. On Longing for home, Elie Wiesel begins asking questions about home that I felt I was able to answer, due to the fact that we’ve been studying what makes a house become home. But by turning the page, Wiesel uses the Talmudic literature to answer the question, saying that “home is a woman.” I found this an incredible answer. Other authors do include woman in their definition of home, but not directly since they’re referring to the physical place. That made me think a lot about those at home, and then I realized that I indeed miss the house and everything, but what I miss / like the most about it is my mother.
    Wiesel later explains that woman will give one kids, and that home becomes the place where the loved ones are.

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