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The Rapid Change of Elie Wiesel's Life in The Book Night

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As we all know, the Second World War was a dark time ever, for as though many individuals got executed and frightened during the Holocaust. In the memoir, Night, by Elie Wiesel, her mentions the harsh circumstances, he and the others endured and how they were close to losing hope. It contains a series of irony and powerful themes that compels him to question human nature from a historical viewpoint. The book Night is Wiesel’s perspective as a Jew during the Holocaust. During 1944, Elie, who is a young boy from Sighet Romania, did not know what the Holocaust was and believed that the Germans would have lost the War. He and his family were then transferred from Sighet to Ghettos and then later concentration camps. He got separated from his mother and sisters in Birkenau. This event led to a horrific series of events, in which Wiesel encounters both losing himself, and his God. In Elie Wiesel memoir, Elie’s bond with God has changed after witnessing various people die right in front of his eyes. This essay will analyse the rapid change by observing Elie’s life before the Ghettos, at the Ghettos and when he was in the concentration camps.

At the beginning of the novel Night, Eliezer, a fifteen-year-old boy from Sighet Romania, had a powerful connection to God. From a young age, he wanted to venture into the world of mysticism usually learned by Jewish scholars who are thirty and above. He sought to learn the Kabbalah to answer his questions about God and the purpose of everything. But his father was not fond of the idea of his only son studying difficult topics, and rather have him learning the elements. His father informed his father, “You are too young for that. Maimonides tells us that one must be thirty before venturing into the world of mysticism, a world fraught with peril. First, you must study the basic subjects, those you are able to comprehend.” Yet, unknown to his father, Wissel found a master, Moishe the Beadle, who became Moishe’s teacher and spiritual guide. Moishe, a poor foreigner Jew who lives in Sighet, taught Wiesel about the riddles of the universe, and God’s centrality for the quest to understanding began the study of the realized and advanced Jewish text. One day, Moishe asked Wiesel why he prays, Wiesel, a religious fifteen-year-old, could not answer. So, Wiesel asked him for his reason, he replied saying “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” He conveys that faith is based on more than just worshiping God, which strengthened Wiesel connection with God. Eliezer begins to realize that there is more to worship God and ends up with a strong devotion towards God.

The next stage is at Birkenau when the prisoners and Elie witnessed the torturing scene of the child’s murder, this section concludes symbolically enacts the murder of God. Elie doesn’t believe the sight, he sees. He starts to question what humanity had come to? His faith begins to shake, he could not understand what kind of God would let innocent children get burned alive? Eliezer believes that God should not exist where innocent kids are being hanged on the gallows. The death of the innocent children represents the death of Eliezer’s own innocence within the camp, he had completely changed from the kid he was at the before the Holocaust. He has lost his religion, and he’s about to lose his sense of morals and values. He suddenly hears the prisoners reciting the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, which pisses of Elie. He said ‘I felt anger rising within me. why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the external and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank him for?’, but he also began reciting it. In summation, Wiesel starts to question his humanity after he saw his father get struck by the Kapo with such force that he fell down and he stood there and paralysis not moving. For this reason, he notices the transformation of himself before and after the Holocaust. In spite of his father getting beaten, he comforts his son saying ‘It doesn’t hurt’, even though you are able to see the red mark on his cheeks.

Finally the ending of the memoir Eliezer no longer had faith that God was merciful being, he started to think that God might not even exist at all. He made the decision to survive off his own strengths, not believing that God was with him. Although he convinced himself that he was all alone, deep down Elie will forever have a part of himself dedicated to God and his Jewish studies. At the ending summer of 1944, the Jews of Buna gathered simultaneously to celebrate their Jewish holidays Yom Kippur, the day of atonement and Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the new year. They were all praying and praising God together. But Eliezer did not realize why they would praise a God who let them suffer. “Blessed God’s name? Why, should I bless him? Every fiber in me rebelled.” He begins mocking them for believing that they were the chosen ones and Jewish are God’s people. He comes to believe that God is powerless compared to mankind. “And I, the former mystic, was thinking: yes, man is stronger than God.”  After the death of Akiba Drumer Wiesel doesn’t recite the Kaddish on his behalf, even though he promised him. His loss of religion involves essences betrayal not simply of God along with his fellow people. Elie may have claimed that he did not believe in God’s existence, at the same time he makes an oath that the Holocaust will always be in memory. When he talks about the Holocaust during his Nobel Prize speech he said “Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. I remember the killers, I remember the victims, even as I struggle to invent a thousand and one reasons to hope. There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. The Talmud tells us that by saving a single human being, man can save the world.” Elie endured countless pain during the Holocaust he’s faith weakened, but he still maintained it.

The book Night records Wiesel’s feelings throughout the Holocaust. Wiesel’s relationship with God experiences its ups and downs, that changes his views of God. In the memoir the writer first shows his robust devotion to God before the Holocaust, then the writer becomes distrustful of his non-secular beliefs, he grows and transforms into a person, and at the same time redefines God’s position in his life. Although it ends with Elie being a shattered young man, unfaithful and while not hope for himself or for humanity, it’s Wiesel’s belief that there are a unit reasons to believe each God and humankind’s capability for goodness, even after the Holocaust. He recovered his religion in man and God and went on to guide a productive life after the Holocaust after witnessing the never-ending terror, which could have result in his loss of religion in God and within humanity. Wiesel was lucky enough to survive the Holocaust it was a weird coincidence, without hope and religion he would have ended up dead. He said, “What hurts the victim the most is not the cruelty of the silence of the bystander.” Elie lost hope in humanity due to people being silent and not standing up for the Jews when they were so much encountering pain and suffering. 

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