Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

Wiesel’s legacy in 2 words: DOUBT and RESPECT

In Yiddish, “Mensch” litteraly means man.

But as my grand mother used to say ” all Mensch are men, but not all men are Mensch “.

Because a Mensch (with a Capital Letter) means more: it qualifies a person of integrity and honour, someone of noble character, to emulate and admire. Someone who does good, who always strives to be a better person without expectation of return. A noble heart and soul. Like Elie Wiesel was.


The web will feed you with everything you need to know about Elie Wiesel today especially, the day he ceased to exist on our planet. He has and always will be a father figure to me, and instead of giving you another bio, I’d like to reflect on his legacy. People will walk in and out of our life but the ones who really matter will leave their footprints.

Question, always 


Doubt is the antidote to totalitarianism, dictatorship and all the other obscurantisms. We have a duty to question, and to me Wiesel’s words should be shouted out on every radio station, on every apps, in every political debate. See where the UK is standing now, with people who would rather buy any given ‘truth’ than daring doubting it.

See where the US risk to be if American were not to question Trump’s program.

Questioning should be compulsory, there is no universal truth and that’s what makes life so interesting: question the given truth, as yourself “why should it be so?” more often. I made mine this quote from Bernard Shawn “Some people see life as it is and they wonder why. I dream of things that never were and say why not?’.

And imagine all the alternative options. I can’t think of anything worse than accepting a fate, not questioning it. True, doubting is not the most comfortable state. But it is the only one that will make us grow as responsible human beings. The religions that are taking our world head over feet are the ones who are refusing the slightest doubt. The politicians who are ruining their countries are the ones who are refusing the tiniest questioning.  Aren’t your worse bosses the ones who would never accept they could potentially be wrong? How did you feel when your parents imposed you a truth you felt totally wrong and unfair?

Don’t be a passive bystander. Stand up for what you believe in

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 20.19.48

I am living by those words, they are engraved in my DNA.

I guess they guided my humanitarian engagement in all those years with the Red Cross. My husband thought it would all smoothen when I’d stop living the aid worker’s life. But no. They are tatooed in my soul. How can you live a happy life ignoring the fate of so much suffering around you?  There is always a little tiny something you can do. Take side, advocate. See the face behind the logo. When I hear Gay, I see so many of my friends. When I hear refugee I see my grand parents and so many of my aunts and “old” uncles. When I hear Islam I remember all the beautiful souls I met when I was deployed in Sudan and in Niger. Remember how privileged you are to have a voice that matters. Be loud, stand strong for what you believe in. You don’t only do it for a victim.  “Those who kept silence yesterday will remain silent tomorrow” said E. Wiesel. Reflect on this quote. Do it now, for a better world for our children. For the sake of humanity, let’s raise them with an open heart and mind. It is in our voice, in our hands, to make a difference.

Forgive but don’t forget

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 20.41.47.png

This last sentence has the heaviest meaning to me. I always see families as trees, with strong roots and branches. How can we stand strong without solid roots? It comes the same with our societies. How can you figure where you are heading when you are denying your roots? Our past, somehow, will always determine our future. Call it kharma, DNA, uterine memory, family constellation psychology …We must know, we must acknowledge, we must honour and respect. So we can move on, strong and confident towards a better future.

Again, my 2 cents.

Today Elie Wiesel’s soul has left our planet. But Mensch never die. They just pass on the torch.








28 comments on “Wiesel’s legacy in 2 words: DOUBT and RESPECT

  1. brittabottle
    July 3, 2016

    I was deeply saddened to hear about Wiesel’s passing. He is such a profound voice amongst Holocaust survivors and among crusaders for human rights the world over. I remember reading “Night” the first time and being left with chills. His passing is a great loss to the dwindling Holocaust survivor community and to the global community. Your words are powerful, Estelea, and you are right–he may be gone from this earth, but he will not be forgotten.

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      I do really appreciate your words so much dear Britta! You are such a mature, empathic and strong person, can’t believe you are still in you 20ies ! “Night” is such a tough reading, that it should be a must reading actually.
      With young people like you so articulate and so generous, I know his legacy is in good hands 🙂

  2. Bouaziz
    July 3, 2016

    Très beau et émouvant plaidoyer.
    C’était une belle âme. Merci de l’avoir magnifiée.

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      Merci a lui d’avoir ete si resilient, pour le bien de l’humanite!

  3. Fabio
    July 3, 2016

    Wow! I agree entirely with your beautiful and so rich piece, my dear friend! You always write so well. Today you have raised the bar a bunch more. In a way, surprised to know about your work with the Red Cross. But if I connect the dots better, not surprised at all. Let’s not forget the words and thoughts of Elie Wiesel. With this post you are keeping his torch up and up, one more time. Many thanks
    ! Many hugs to you and your beautiful family, in the Philippines, and in Europe. 🙂

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      Thanks dear Fabio 🙂 your comments are always so very precious! Yes, I spent almost a decade with the International Red Cross, when I was young and wild, in those remote times B.C. (before Children) XXX

      • Fabio
        July 11, 2016

        Always so great to hear from you, dear Estelea! Tikkun olam is in your DNA, for sure! Please read The Economist obituary for Elie Wiesel – you will find a copy on
        Best to you, your husband, and your beautiful children! XXX

      • estelea
        July 11, 2016

        THanks so much for pointing this deeply touching article. I actually read “Night” again last week, and the resilience of this man was beyond words. I am going to leave a comment on your blog right away ..

  4. Sue
    July 3, 2016

    Excellent post, Estelea, well written…

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      Thank you Sue, it means a lot!

      • Sue
        July 11, 2016

        You are most welcome, Estelea

  5. lexklein
    July 3, 2016

    We have lost a voice for so many who don’t or didn’t have one. But we have yours, and many other smaller voices that maybe don’t have a world stage, but who nudge us and prompt us and remind us to speak up and make a difference. Thank you for putting it out there for all to think about. It is easier not to doubt, or to keep our doubts to ourselves, but you are so right that when we do that, we are complicit in what happens.

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      I was reading in the NYT yesterday about the upcoming of “A German Life”, and it really gave me the creeps… Yes, people like Goebbel’s former secretary can live up to 105 years old and still have a clean conscious, sleeping well at night. I don’t know how she does it.

      • lexklein
        July 11, 2016

        Sounds naive, but I don’t know how anyone who does terrible things can live with it. I guess they have an ethical switch they can turn off. Frightening.

      • estelea
        July 11, 2016


  6. thatssojacob
    July 8, 2016

    Not to nit pick, bit it’s Yiddish, not Yiddish. And Mensch is singular – more than one Mensch would be Menschen.

    • estelea
      July 11, 2016

      What is the difference between Yiddish and Yiddish? I guess you mean Yiddish, not Yeddish? not to nit pick of course !

      • thatssojacob
        July 12, 2016

        I was reading it on my phone, so Yeddish autocorrected to Yiddish.

    • Fabio
      July 11, 2016

      Thatsojacob does not have any idea that your mother tongue is French. You write so superbly in English. We have to be so thankful for that! It would be much harder for everybody if you were writing the other way. The important thing is to send the message. And you do it so so well! Bravo, my dear Friend who speaks and writes in French, English, Yiddish, maybe also German and Hebrew. But your most important language is the one that flows from your big heart!!!
      PS: Sorry, Thatssojacob, but I had to write this.:-)

      • estelea
        July 11, 2016

        ❤ ! So super sweet of you my friend. It means a lot 🙂

  7. Fabio
    July 11, 2016

    Thatsojacob does not have any idea that your mother tongue is French. You write so superbly in English. We have to be so thankful for that! It would be much harder for everybody if you were writing the other way. The important thing is to send the message. And you do it so so well! Bravo, my dear Friend who speaks and writes in French, English, Yiddish, maybe also German and Hebrew. But your most important language is the one that flows from your big heart!!!
    PS: Sorry, Thatssojacob, but I had to write this. 🙂

    • thatssojacob
      July 12, 2016

      It was a good post. Just being a helpful neighbor!

      • Fabio
        July 12, 2016

        Thanks so much! Best to you! 🙂

  8. Andrew Seal
    July 13, 2016

    So moved by your memorable words Estelea. Your love for humanity warms and inspires us all. Thank you.

    • estelea
      July 14, 2016

      You have no idea how your kind words are touching me. Thanks so much for the beautiful compliments!

  9. Bouaziz
    July 13, 2016

    Ton article a soulevé une foule de commentaires très forts…il faut dire que tu rédiges si bien et avec tant de conviction que tu ne peux que susciter de l’émotion,voire de l’ mes paroles vont au delà de l’amour filial ! 🤗

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2016 by in Family, My 2 cents worth, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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