Books: Voices Amid Thunder


by ELIE WIESEL 268 pages. Random House. $7.95.

For over a decade now, in nine books of fiction and nonfiction, Elie Wiesel (Night, A Beggar in Jerusalem) has been the dark poet of the Holocaust, a man brooding circularly upon the six million Jews who died in death camps. Now he has written a rich, warm book whose subject is religious joy, that mystical and ecstatic strain in Judaic history known as Hasidism.

The book is not so much history as artful evocation. Wiesel tells how Hasidism came to be, two centuries ago in those borderlands that were now Poland, now...

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