Ani Maamin


The following text is excerpted from "Ani Maamin," a poem by Nobel Laureate Elie Weisel. At the age of 15, Weisel and his family were sent to Auschwitz, where his Mother and younger sister were among the more than 1 million Jews murdered there. Wessel is pictured above, the second row of bunks, 7th from the left.

Ani Maaim by Elie Weisel

A camp.

An inmate.

A creature without a name.

A man without a destiny.

It is night, the first night of Passover.

The camp is asleep,

He alone is awake.

He talks to himself


I hear his words,

I capture his silence.

To himself, to me,

He is saying:

I have not partaken of Matzot,

Nor of maror.

I have not emptied the four cups,

Symbols of the four deliverances.

I did not invite The hungry To share my repast --

Or even my hunger.

No longer have I a son

To ask me

The Four questions --

No longer have I the strength

To answer. . . .

Still, I recite the Haggadah

As though I believe in it.

And I await the prophet Elijah,

As I did long ago.

I open my heart to him

And say. . .

Empty the cup

That bears your name.  

Come to us,

Come to us on this Passover night:  

We are in Egypt

And we are the ones To suffer God's plagues.  

Come, friend of the poor,

Defender of the oppressed,


I shall wait for you.  

And even if you disappoint me I shall go on waiting,

Ani Maamin.  

haggadah Section: Conclusion
Source: Elie Weisel