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Theodore Bikel Quotes

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Theodore Bikel
May 2, 1924 -
Nationality: Austrian
Category: Actor
Subcategory: Austrian Actor

On the stage you're there, it's live. There's a beginning, a middle, an end. When something is funny you hear it right away.


I know for certain of only one commandment, one obligation, that God imposes upon us, and that is to be compassionate toward other human beings.


I am determined to give the Yiddish language a fighting chance to survive.


As an artist I have an even more abiding interest in the compact between the Arts and Government.


In my world, history comes down to language and art. No one cares much about what battles were fought, who won them and who lost them - unless there is a painting, a play, a song or a poem that speaks of the event.


No doubt unity is something to be desired, to be striven for, but it cannot be willed into being by mere declarations.


The play is always fresh to me. It's not the audience's fault that I've said the words before.


I do prefer the stage. It's really the granddaddy of them all.


Despite a large body of work in films, TV, theatre and concerts, I am viewed by many as a Jewish artist. I do not resent the label, except for the fact that I disapprove of labels in general.


All too often arrogance accompanies strength, and we must never assume that justice is on the side of the strong. The use of power must always be accompanied by moral choice.


I make no claim that Jewish culture is superior to other cultures or that the Jewish song is better than the song of my neighbor.


If I have one vanity wish, it would be to direct. It's the only thing I haven't done yet that I would like to.


I prefer to make common cause with those whose weapons are guitars, banjos, fiddles and words.


But there is a difference here: When Jewish children are murdered, Arabs celebrate the deed. The death of an Arab child is no cause for celebration in Israel.


You can't expect the entire world to come to New York to see you. You have to travel to them.


I prefer to choose which traditions to keep and which to let go.


No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language.

    Topics: Art

You don't really need modernity in order to exist totally and fully. You need a mixture of modernity and tradition.


I am not a specialist but a general practitioner in the world of the arts.


I have always striven to raise the voice of hope for a world where hate gives way to respect and oppression to liberation.


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