Israeli presidents bid farewell to Elie Wiesel

'Hero of the Jewish people, giant of humanity'; President Rivlin, Shimon Peres, pay tribute to Elie Wiesel.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Peres awards Elie Wiesel the Presidential Medal in 2013
Peres awards Elie Wiesel the Presidential Medal in 2013
GPO/Office of Former President Peres

Tributes have been pouring in since news broke of the passing of world-renowned Holocaust survivor, writer, activist and Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel on Saturday.

Among those paying their respects were Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke of his immense sadness over Wiesel's death, who he dubbed "a giant of humanity."

"Tonight we bid farewell to a hero of the Jewish People, and a giant of all humanity," Rivlin said. "Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory, embodied the determination of the human spirit to overcome the darkest of evils, and survive against all the odds.

"His life was dedicated to the fight against all hatred, and for the sake of man as created in the image of God – he was a guide for us all.

"One of the Jewish people’s greatest sons, who touched the hearts of so many, and helped us to believe in forgiveness, in life, and in the eternal bond of the Jewish people. May his memory be a blessing, everlastingly engraved in the heart of the nation."

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres - who in 2013 awarded Wiesel the Presidential Medal - similarly mourned the passing of a "larger than life individual."

""Today, the Jewish people and the world lost a larger than life individual - Holocaust Survivor, Author and Noble Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel," Peres said in a statement.

"Wiesel, left his mark on humanity through preserving and upholding the legacy of the Holocaust and delivering a message of peace and respect between people worldwide.

"He endured the most serious atrocities of mankind - survived them and dedicated his life to conveying the message of 'Never Again.'

"I had the honor and privilege to personally thank him for his numerous years of work and for saving the world from apathy when I gave him the Presidential Medal on behalf of the State of Israel. May his memory be a blessing to us all."