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Theodore Bikel Quotes


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

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

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

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

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

I remain convinced that I can be a true universalist only when I am a better Jew.
 

I tried for a while to be an agricultural worker and was hopelessly bored. To me it was meaningless. I would stand around in heaps of manure and sings about the beauty of the work I wasn't doing.
 

I'm exceedingly proud of being an actor, but I never recommend it to anyone.
 

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.
 

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.
 

Must we be put to shame by much smaller and poorer countries, by Ireland, France, Austria or Sweden, who have understood that a nation's support of its arts is a matter of both national pride and cultural survival?
 

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

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

No movement can afford to be caught in a time warp and exist in a state of suspended animation.
 

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.
 

One might have thought the world would stop ascribing moral equivalence between acts of terrorism and acts of punishing terrorism. It has not happened that way.
[Acts]
 

Right up to the middle of this century all perceptions of the world around us were delivered via the bookshelf or the paper route.
 

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

Throughout my life I have cared as deeply about the songs of all peoples as I have about the rights of all peoples.
 


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