From Ani Maamin (I Believe), a Poem by Elie Wiesel

A camp.

An inmate.

A creature without a name,

A man without a face,

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 …

The parable of Chad Gadya is misleading:

God will not come

To slay the slaughterer.

The innocent victims

Will go unavenged.

The ancient wish –

Leshana habaa bi-Yerushalaim

Will not be granted.

I shall not be in Jerusalem

Next year.

Or anywhere else.

I shall not be.

And then,

How do I know

That Jerusalem is there,

Far away,

That Jerusalem is not here?

Still, I recite the Haggadah

As though I believe in it.

And I await the prophet


As I did long ago.

I open my heart to him

And say:

Welcome, prophet of the promise,

Welcome, herald of redemption.

Come, share in my story,

Come, rejoice with the dead

That we are.

Empty the cup

That bears your name.

Come to us,

Come to us on the 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: Hallel
Source: Elie Wiesel