Faith and God in Elie Wiesel's Night
Elie Wiesel's Night is a dramatic autobiographical novel that vividly describes the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust. Words do not make justice to what happened in German concentration camps, but if one is to see a glimpse of it in a written novel, the writings of Wiesel are the place to look for it. Wiesel describes in vivid details the sheer cruelty and absolute evil of the Nazi regime. Jews who went through the Nazi Hell were profoundly transformed by the atrocious experience. So horrific was what the Jewish prisoners saw in Nazi camps that even the most devout religious persons began to question their faith in God. Elie was no exception. From being a faithful youngster who could not imagine life without his belief in God, he turned later into a questioner, interrogator, and the accuser of God. He questioned God's justice and His existence, but at the end he still remained a person with faith.
As a young boy, Elie learned the Torah and the Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. He was so devout that he used to cry while praying and he believed that praying was as part of his life as the need to eat, sleep, drink, and live. Even if his father did not approve of his desire to be...
When asked "Why do you cry when you pray?" Elie said he did not know but felt that he cried "because something inside me felt the need to cry." And when asked "Why do you pray," Elie was bewildered. "Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?" Elie said to himself (Wiesel and Wiesel 4). Elie believed in God unconditionally. He believed that God was everywhere and that He was everything. As a student of Jewish religion, he learned that God was good, so the world must also be good then. Elie could not even imagine questioning God's existence or the power of divine justice.
His unconditional belief in the goodness of God and the world He created was, however, profoundly shaken by what he witnessed later in his life. One of the most shocking experiences was Elie's witnessing of a furnace pit where children were being burned and another pit for adults. While his father and other Jewish prisoners were praying at the grisly sight of Nazi cruelty, Elie began to question his faith. He wrote: "For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?" Trembling with fear, Elie still exalted God's name. At the sight of his fellow Jewish people being burned in flames, Elie said his famous words: "Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a…
In this case, Wiesel attempted to trust God the way his mentor and the other religious villagers did, but each family was moved and deported. Moshe the Beadle escaped just to be labeled a lunatic, and the hope in God proved futile. In such circumstances, the most faithful of people would remind themselves to take joy in suffering for their faiths, to remind themselves that the Bible gives instructions
"And we, the Jews of Sighet, were waiting for better days, which would not be long in coming now." (Night 5) Even as they were taken to death camps, many Jewish individuals continues to believe that God was with them and that they needed to act in agreement with his plan, despite the fact that it involved them having to suffer. While Wiesel started to doubt God's plan, he continued
Night by Elie Wiesel was first published in English in 1960 and gave the most chilling and most faithful account of his experiences during the Holocaust. We have heard a lot about concentration camps and how Jews were made to suffer simply because of their religion, however this book gives us something deeper to think about. The book studies the Holocaust experience in the light of Jewish beliefs and the
This apathetic sentiment even envelops the narrator, as the following quotation demonstrates by showing that Eliezer knew that "the child was still alive when I passed him." Despite this fact, the narrator does nothing to help the child due to his extreme apathy. However, the narrator's apathy is proven most effectively by his silent answer to the question as to God's presence, which the subsequent quotation suggests. "Where is
Night by Elie Wiesel Though it is called a novel, Night (Wiesel 1982) is actually a memoir about Wiesel's experiences as a young, devout Jewish boy who is forced by World War II Nazis into a concentration camp, along with his family. The main character, Eliezer, is actually Wiesel, and through his descriptions and thoughts about his life before, during and after the concentration camps, Wiesel illustrates ways that people may
This is why he fled his adoptive parents' home, and confidently volunteered to solve the riddle of the Sphinx. Because he believed he had the ability to outwit fate he confidently issued a proclamation to Thebes, telling the suffering citizens he would be sure to punish whomever was the cause of the plague -- and unwittingly condemning himself. But in "Oedipus at Colonus," Oedipus is a humbled man. He