Tag Archives: film

Lecture about M. Shoshani in Geneva on Sunday, 6th of November 2016 – in French or English

chouchani question mark

For all those in the world who are fascinated by the mysterious M. Shoshani. If you are curious to know more (and if you understand French!), you are invited to a lecture by Michael Grynszpan at the Kesherday in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday 6th of November 2016. The filmmaker will talk about his research and will show exclusive footage of his movie in process.
If you want to organize a similar lecture in English somewhere else, feel free to contact us.
http://kesherday.org/agenda/creativite-et-judaisme/les-combats-des-femmes-juives-pour-leur-statut-au-xxe-et-xxie-siecles-avancees-et-regressions/

Pour tous les passionnés par le mystérieux Monsieur Chouchani dans le monde. Vous voulez en savoir plus ? Rendez-vous en Suisse à Genève ! Michael Grynszpan y donnera une conférence sur Monsieur Chouchani lors du Kesherday le Dimanche 6 Novembre. Avec des extraits exclusifs de son film en cours. http://kesherday.org/agenda/creativite-et-judaisme/les-combats-des-femmes-juives-pour-leur-statut-au-xxe-et-xxie-siecles-avancees-et-regressions/

Le mystérieux Maître d’Elie Wiesel – article sur les rapports Chouchani-Wiesel

http://frblogs.timesofisrael.com/le-mysterieux-maitre-delie-wiesel/
Elie Wiesel and Michael

The last filmed interview of Elie Wiesel was about his Mentor Shoshani – Chouchani

Filmmaker Michael Grynszpan and Elie Wiesel z.l.

Filmmaker Michael Grynszpan and Elie Wiesel z.l.


We’ve just learned the sad news: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 87. Baruch Dayan Emet (Blessed is the True Judge).

We had the privilege to meet him and to interview him last year in New York.
Elie Wiesel was happy to talk about his mentor and master Shoshani (Chouchani).

We believe this was his last filmed interview.

Elie Wiesel holds Shoshani / Chouchani’s letters in his private archives

Another fascinating article written by a talented journalist Ofer Aderet in Haaretz (same journalist who wrote the first article about our movie on Chouchani / Shoshani http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.553215)

Elie Wiesel and Joel Rappel - Picture : Dorit Rappel

Elie Wiesel and Joel Rappel – Picture : Dorit Rappel


This time it’s about the most famous book of Elie Wiesel, “Night”. We learn here that Dr Joel Rapel – who was the director of Elie Wiesel’s archives in Boston for years – found there this manuscript in Hebrew! Nobody knew until now that Wiesel wrote a version of “Night” in Hebrew because it has never been published. The text in Hebrew is different than the one in French.

Another interesting point in the article, though we knew it before from another source: Elie Wiesel holds letters that Chouchanu/Shoshani wrote him! Under what name did Chouchani sign his letters? good question… It’s important to stress the fact that Elie Wiesel has always maintained that Chouchani’s real name was Mordehai Rosenbaum.

Note: this mention of these letters doesn’t appear in the Hebrew translation of the original article of Aderet in Hebrew, one can say that Chouchani was lost in translation :)

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/.premium-1.717093?utm_content=%24sections%2F1.717093.1462094157&utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_source=SMARTFOCUS&utm_campaign=1390118&utm_term=20160501-03%3A05&ts=_1462146040434

Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Levy read Levinas and hear Chouchani’s voice

Benny Levy fut le secrétaire de Jean-Paul Sartre. Militant maoïste de premier plan sous le pseudonyme de Pierre Victor, il dirige dans la France de l’immédiat « après-Mai » (début des années 1970) le parti Gauche prolétarienne. Il découvre ensuite Emmanuel Levinas et le Judaisme qu’il fait aussi decouvrir à Jean-Paul Sartre. Benny_Levy
Il entame alors un retour vers le Judaisme par l’étude des textes juifs, il explique cela dans cet entretien radio sur France Culture avec Alain Finkielkraut.

Benny Levy ne prononce pas ici une seule fois le nom Chouchani, mais l’oreille attentive l’entend pourtant dans chacune de ses phrases.
http://www.franceculture.fr/philosophie/benny-levy-chez-levinas-l-hebreu-n-etait-pas-une-religion-fossile-c-etait-une-pensee

“Levinas est celui qui a provoqué mon retour aux textes juifs, et à la vie juive. [...] Quand j’ai lu Levinas, au moment où je m’entretenais avec Sartre, j’ai eu le sentiment qu’il parlait d’ailleurs. Sentiment qui devient de plus en plus obsédant et puis qui s’explicite : il y a un horizon, un horizon propre qui est l’horizon de l’hébreu. C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’a compris Sartre, ce qu’a découvert Sartre avec moi, que l’hébreu ce n’était pas une religion fossile, c’était une pensée. Donc il y a une pensée qui se déploie autrement, qui relève d’un autre horizon.[...]”
“Levinas c’était – à travers toute l’intrigue d’autrui – retourner à la trace de Dieu. Levinas est celui qui a fait qu’il y ait retour du nom de Dieu dans la langue philosophique et tout particulièrement dans la langue française, c’est-à-dire cette langue qui était exceptionnellement rebelle à ce retour, car c’est une langue acéphale, je désigne cette notion importante pour Bataille “couper la tête du roi c’était couper la tête de Dieu”. Donc il y avait quelque-chose de militant dans l’athéisme. [...] Donc c’était un acte incroyable d’audace pour un garçon aussi respectueux qu’était Levinas, un acte incroyable d’audace de permettre que retourne le pharisien dans les lettres françaises.”
“Ce texte là nous brulait”.

On Instruction and Knowledge

“Préférez mes instructions à l’argent, Et la science à l’or le plus précieux; Car la sagesse vaut mieux que les perles, Elle a plus de valeur que tous les objets de prix.” (Proverbes 8,10-11)

(קְחוּ מוּסָרִי וְאַל כָּסֶף וְדַעַת מֵחָרוּץ נִבְחָר. כִּי טוֹבָה חָכְמָה מִפְּנִינִים וְכָל חֲפָצִים לֹא יִשְׁווּ בָהּ” (משלי ח י-יא”

“Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
(Proverbs 8,10-11)

“Shushani and the Problem of Humiliation”

“Shushani and the Problem of HumiliationIMG_3013

Not every teacher thus honored performed their task with equanimity of spirit. Many were angry, some morose. But Mordechai Rosenbaum (aka Harav Mordechai Shushani) presents a special case. His brilliance, erudition, and devotion to study are legendary, as experienced by Wiesel, Emmanuel Levinas, Shalom Rosenberg, and other members of an elite group of students. He was eccentric in appearance, behavior, and method, dressing poorly, maintaining secrecy in his comings and goings, saying little about his past, and holding marathon classes some days and disappearing for long stretches on others. (…) Wiesel also characterizes Harav Shushani as rude and abrupt, stooping so low as to mock, humiliate, and and torment his students. (…)
Harav Shushani did everything, in other words, that his student wouldn’t think of doing. Wiesel’s way is not to humiliate but to humanize.
Indeed, the relationship between Rav Shushani and his admiring student – humiliation on the one hand, loyalty on the other – replays how Wiesel some years later described the relationship between the renegade talmudic master, Elisha ben Abuya, and his lone remaining disciple, Rabbi Meir.(…) Wiesel never refers to Shushani as an apostate (though others apparently did). The question was more the effect of his teaching on the faith of others rather than on his own. Nevertheless, what thy shared was a pedagogy that had room for the humiliation of their closest disciples.
What then did our teacher learn from his own about teaching ? Perhaps he learned what NOT to do; perhaps WE learn, indirectly and paradoxically, that sometimes one chooses a master (or a master chooses a student) from whom one eventually diverges 180 degrees. But then again, it may be that Wiesel’s classroom teaching draws on Shushani’s, while filtering away its excesses.”

from ELIE WIESEL Jewish, Literary and Moral Perspectives. Alan Rosen.

Emmanuel Levinas talks about his Master Monsieur Chouchani – an amazing Genius – Video in Italian

Video in Italian: Emmanuel Levinas talks about his Master Monsieur Chouchani – an amazing GeniusEmmanuel Levinas en Italien

http://www.raiscuola.rai.it/articoli/emmanuel-l%C3%A8vinas-tra-martin-heidegger-e-il-talmud-aforismi/5087/default.aspx

Lévinas si sofferma inoltre sulla sua infanzia, segnata dall’ebraismo. Decisiva fu la personale scoperta del Talmud fatta sotto la guida di Chouchani, maestro di esegesi biblica. “Un uomo – ricorda Lévinas – che poteva attraversare un gran numero di idee, senza sentire l`obbligo di portarle a un esito conclusivo”.

New Interview of Elie Wiesel in New York

Elie Wiesel interviewed by Michael G - June 1st 2015

Elie Wiesel interviewed by Michael Grynszpan - June 1st 2015
Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Elie Wiesel and filmmaker Michael Grynszpan met in New York this week for an interview. They talked about Monsieur Chouchani [Shoshani] who was Elie Wiesel’s teacher for two years and let a huge impact on all his other disciples around the world.