Effects Of Faith In Night By Elie Wiesel

1146 Words5 Pages

The Holocaust affects Jews in a way that seems unimaginable, and most of these effects seem to have been universal experiences; however, in the matter of faith, Jews in the concentration camp described in Elie Wiesel’s Night are affected differently and at different rates. The main character, Elie, loses his faith quickly after the sights he witnesses (as well as many others); other Jews hold on much longer and still pray in the face of total destruction. In the beginning, all of the Jews are more or less equally faithful in their God and religion. Elie was perhaps one of the most faithful, saying that “by day [he] studied Talmud and by night [he] would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the temple” (3). He finds comfort in …show more content…

Elie, once so faithful, is one of the first to lose faith in God due to the horrific sights he sees. After witnessing the bodies of Jewish children being burned, Wiesel writes, “Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever” (34). He quite understandably has begun to doubt that his God is with him following the sight of the supposedly chosen people’s bodies being unceremoniously burned. Elie, though, was perhaps not a member of the masses with this belief; in fact, some men were able to hold on to their beliefs despite these horrendous sights. Also near the middle of the book, Wiesel reflects on the faith of other Jews in the face of these events, saying that “some of the men spoke of God: His mysterious ways, the sins of the Jewish people, and the redemption to come. As for me, I had ceased to pray...I was not denying His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice” (45). It is apparent here that the effect of the Holocaust on the Jewish people’s faith was delayed on some level. Elie refuses to pray to the God that apparently abandoned him. This is personified when he says he doubts that God has absolute justice. Others remain faithful and retain the hope that He is on their side, explaining these happenstances as an example of God’s mysterious ways. While this may as well be the case, Elie stops praying, believing that he has been abandoned. He finds no hope of redemption in the Talmud like …show more content…

Traditionally, Jewish people fast during this extremely important holiday. When the day arrives, Jews in the concentration camp are conflicted: should they fast as they always have, or do circumstances outweigh traditions? Wiesel recounts this argument in Night: “...there were those who said we should fast, precisely because it was dangerous to do so. We needed to show God that even here, locked in hell, we were capable of singing His praises. I did not fast...I no longer accepted God’s silence. As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him” (69). An obvious split from God is in this quotation. Elie refuses to honor this sacred holiday to rebel against the God who appears to have left him. He rebels against God’s notion of grace and protection of the Jewish people, for neither of these ideals are apparent in the live he seems to have been cursed to live. Although it is not outwardly stated, it can be assumed that Elie was not the only Jew to eat during this particular Yom Kippur; whether their actions were due to practicality or anger will remain unknown. Other Jews hold on to their last pieces of hope. Even when surrounded by death, they praise God’s name and fast in His honor. But even the most religious of Jews are not immune to the world around them. Even the rabbi begins to

Show More
Open Document