The Night

Topics: Elie Wiesel, Judaism, The Holocaust Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: February 16, 2014
In Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, holocaust survivor Eliezer suffers from one of the most painful events in human history: the Jewish Holocaust. As a result of his suffering, he is radically changed from a devout Jew, to a devout cynic. His religious fervor is lost, and little hope is provided for its salvation. The definition of holocaust is mass destruction; this is usually associated with the mass destruction of human life. Another definition, although horribly ironic, is a burnt offering. Perhaps ‘burnt offering’ is an accurate definition because this is exactly what happens to many Jews: they are thrown in a crematorium. Before Eliezer is violently shoved into the destruction, he lives a normal Jewish life in the town of Sighet. Like many, he has an interest in the religious aspect of his life. He states, “By day I studied the Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple” (3). He asks his father to find him a master that could guide him in the studies of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is a form of Jewish mysticism. His father does not help him find a master, and tells Eliezer that there are no Kabbalists in Sighet. But nevertheless, he succeeds in finding a master on his own, Moishe the Beadle. Moishe the Beadle is a poor man, yet an insightful person. “Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him,” he liked to say. “Man asks and God replies. But we do not understand His replies. We cannot understand them. Because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die.” (5) From then on, Moishe the Beadle starts teaching Eliezer about Kabbalah’s revelations. Eliezer notes that, “… in the course of those evenings I became convinced that Moishe the Beadle would help me enter eternity, into that time when question and answer would become ONE” (5). One day, Hungarian police enter the town demanding the deportation of all foreign Jews; unfortunately this includes Eliezer’s master. When he returns,...
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