Eliezer’s Change in Faith
At the beginning of Night, Eliezer was driven to further his knowledge of the Kabbalah despite his father’s wishes. He was so determined that he found a master in Moishe the Beadle to help him. Together Eliezer and Moishe would read the Zohar to “discover within the very essence of divinity (5).” Eliezer hoped to enter eternity, a time that he thought “question and answer would become ONE (5).” However, Eliezer’s faith and relationship with God began to change because of the traumatic experiences he suffered during the Holocaust.
As the deportation of the Jews began, Eliezer’s faith altered very little. For example, when Eliezer and his family were moved to a different ghetto the Hungarian police were screaming harsh words at them in order to quicken their step. They were forced to run for miles and miles to reach their destination. To Eliezer, this was a test of faith. He questions, “Who would have thought that we were so strong (19)?” As they reach their journey’s end and all are exhausted he cries, “Oh God, Master of the Universe, in your infinite compassion, have mercy on us…(20).” From this statement, the reader can infer that Eliezer still believes that his God is in control of what he is experiencing and will indeed save them from their misery.
As Eliezer and his family reach Birkenau, his faith begins to diminish. He simply cannot understand why human beings, much less babies, would be thrown into the crematorium. As the people around him begin to recite Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. His own father states the end, “May His name be celebrated and sanctified (33).” Eliezer found himself experiencing anger from hearing these words after what he had seen. He questions why he should bless God’s name when “The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent (33).” Eliezer feels that if God could not prevent this from happening, then what was there to thank Him for? Eliezer testifies that...
Cited: Wiesel, Elie, and Marion Wiesel. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, a Division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Print.
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