Elie’s Faith in God

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The Holocaust. A genocide that occurred during World War II. This catastrophic event lead to the death of around 6 million Jews.

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And the mental, emotional, and physical damage of 17 million Jews. One of those Jews is Elie Wiesel. Eliezer Wiesel, Romanian-born American Jew, and author of the book Night. Which is a vividly detailed memoir, about his experience in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Elie was taken at age 15, along with his father, his mother, and his three sisters. In this memoir, Elie’s struggle with his faith is a dominant conflict in Night. Elie’s faith takes a drastic revolution from being fully devoted to his faith, to rebelling against God, and to coming to means with his broken faith.

In the beginning of Night, Elie’s faith was very strict and focused on his religious studies and his view of God. Eliezer has grown up believing that everything on Earth reflects God’s holiness and power. Elie was heavily studying Talmud and Kabbalah. Talmud is an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. And Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought of Judaism. Eliezer’s faith is a product of his studies in Jewish mysticism, which teach him that God is everywhere in the world, that nothing exists without God. He speaks of his routine in the book when he writes, By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the temple (Wiesel 3). Even though his father believed he was too young explore the studies involved in Kabbalah, Eliezer remained committed to his quest to study Kabbalah and found himself a master who could guide him. And throughout chapter one of Night, Elie’s belief in a good and pure God is so unconditional, that he himself does not understand how. This is brought up by Moishe the Beadle, when he begins to question Elie while he is praying. Elie mentioned this when he wrote, Why do you pray? he asked after a moment.

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