Doctor Irving Greenberg, a Modern Orthodox rabbi contemplates the question of whether it makes sense to believe in God after the Holocaust in his Cloud of Smoke, Pillar Fire” (1977). Considering the nature of the Holocaust as a historical transforming event and its substantial death toll, that is taking the lives of six million Jewish, several postulations surrounding the subject of God after the Holocaust have emerged, such as the works of Richard Rubenstein, Eliezer Berkovits, and Hans Jonas to name a few. Greenberg’s work explores that when considering the horrible nature of the Holocaust, it may be fallacious to believe in God and moreover disrespectful to its victims. However, despite of this, there are still moments in which God is present, …show more content…
Additionally, the broader question of belief in God is raised when taking Wiesel’s statement into account “the little faces of children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke…” How could God allow this killing of innocent children to occur, if one is being honest with themselves it seems fallacious and almost disturbing to believe in God considering this. Greenberg encapsulates this when he states that “the flames and smoke of the burning children bot out faith.” However, Greenberg also writes that despite of this, there are also moments when faith “flickers again.” Greenberg holds onto the idea that there are still moments “when redeemer and vision of redemption are present.” That is to state, that there are incredible experiences and moments in which God is present. Understanding that Greenberg asserts that sometimes faith “flickers” and sometimes it is “blotted out” means that we live in a time of “moments of faith” that is, that none of us have unbroken faith nor atheism, but rather, we live moment to moment regarding faith. “This ends the easy dichotomy of atheist/theist” by living moment to moment regarding faith, we move between atheism and theism and none of us are definitively one or the other. Hence, the dualism and any clear differentiation of atheist and theist is disrupted as the two are no longer binary. I find Greenberg’s treatment of belief in God after the Holocaust to be a
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The guest speaker at the Illinois Holocaust Museum posed an unanswerable question to the dozen Chabad eighth-grade boys sitting in front of him. Mitchell Winthrop, 88 years of age, a survivor of the Auschwitz and Mauthausen Nazi concentration camps, had been raised in a secular Jewish home in Lodz, Poland. Why had he, he asked the boys—someone who hadn’t even had a bar mitzvah—been chosen to survive the Holocaust and not his pious, white-bearded grandfather? His question was meant to provoke thought, but it also spurred the graduating class of Chicago’s Seymour J. Abrams Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School into action.
Faith is having absolute loyalty and trust towards a tremendous power in their growth. In the biography Parallel Journeys by Eleanor Ayer, Alfons Heck is a strong supporter of Hitler, but his relationship decreased. The memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, a Jewish holocaust survivor, has a wavering relationship with God that also decreases as time continues. Both Heck and Wiesel are devoted to their God’s at first; however, Wiesel is confused with his faith, while Heck continues to follow Hitler. In the end, each boy feels betrayed by their leaders.
Religion is something that many people have consistently believed in and turned to in times of need and support. Some of these people rely on their faith more than their own family and friends. Their religion is their entire life and they can’t imagine their lives without it. Imagine a scenario that’s so terrible that God won’t take you out of it. These people will wonder where God is and pray for Him to come.
Faith is such an important part of life. It is the drive, the motive to live, to breathe, to feel. When faith is lost, so is the reason to exist; life is lost in oblivion. Faith is a truly powerful weapon and as the story of Eliezer 's life during the Holocaust is played out through this book, a first-hand perspective is gained of what someone can do to cause questioning of faith and how people respond, whether by strengthening faith or losing it entirely. Eliezer is hit with every hard trial imaginable within a year of his life and eventually withers and hardens into this completely new person than the boy he was when he first stepped into that cattle car expelling him from Sighet, his home, and life.
That nigh the soup tasted of corpses”. Elie Wiesel used to be a vivacious person- always seeking God’s presence- but from the commence of this genocide he has been negatively impacted. God used to be his everything; his strength and his mellifluous song that comforted his very soul. However, all that he is dependent on now is bread and water-
Theme Analysis Essay: Having and Losing Faith In God Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects all people. Religions faith can be tested under certain circumstances, which can falter the relationship one can have with their God. In the memoir Night, by Elie Wiesel, the author creates the universal theme that religious faith is questioned and challenged during traumatic events. Throughout the story, we see many relationships with God scarcely survive, and some completely fail entirely. For the duration of the memoir, Wiesel uses plenty of narrative elements to help convey this theme.
Imagine believing so strongly in something and then being let down, or thinking that you were wrong to believe. In Night by Elie Wiesel, Elie felt as though he had lost his religion and beliefs. “I believed profoundly. During the day I studied the Talmud, and at night I ran to the synagogue to weep of the destruction of the Temple,” (Wiesel, 14). This quote shows how strongly he believed before experiencing the hardships of the Holocaust
Elie’s Loss of Faith Within this barbarous world, there are innumerable accounts of devastating events that have occurred in the past, and continue to occur; these occurrences periodically cause us to question the existence of God. Overall, this statement proves to be correct to ill-fated Eliezer Wiesel. This brave child was exceedingly religious, as well as he had a strong hunger to be closer with God. Previous to being transferred to Auschwitz, he believed that as long as his family stuck together, everything would work out to be well. Throughout all his time in the concentration camp, he started to lose his faith after discovering the horrid ways of the camp.
In which millions of Jews were innocently killed and persecuted because of their religion. As a student who is familiar with the years of the holocaust that will forever live in infamy, Wiesel’s memoir has undoubtedly changed my perspective. Throughout the text, I have been emotionally touched by the topics of dehumanization, the young life of Elie Wiesel, and gained a better understanding of the Holocaust. With how dehumanization was portrayed through words, pondering my mind the most.
Wiesel's loss of faith was brought on by the absence of God. This resulted in him questioning why it was God's will to allow Jews to suffer and die the way they had. Another portrayal of religious confliction within Wiesel was the statement of his faith being consumed by the flames along with the corpses of children (Wiesel 34). Therefore, he no longer believed God was the almighty savior everyone had set Him out to be or even present before them. To conclude, his experiences within Nazi confinement changed what he believed in and caused him to change how he thought and began questioning God because of the actions He allowed to take
In the memoir Night, the narrator Elie Wiesel recounts a moment when he questioned God, ¨Blessed be God’s name? Why, but why would I bless him? Every fiber in me rebelled, he caused thousands of children to burn his Mass graves?¨(Wiesel 68). Overall, Wiesel does not follow the words of God and is not believing in him anymore because he thinks God is the one thatś letting all the inhumanity occur. One theme in Night is that inhumanity can cause disbelief or incredulity.
Earlier, a man had asked that question while a young boy was hanged alongside the adults, murdered at the hands of the Nazis. “Behind me, I heard the same man asking: ‘Where is God now?’” (Wiesel, 72). At this moment, Elie and many others began to question their faith.
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.
Elie Wiesel had once sought comfort in his faith; however, he had struggled to maintain hope since. Another example of his struggle is when Elie had tried to pray to God even though he no longer believed in Him. After witnessing a child betray his own father, “a prayer formed inside [him]. A prayer to the God whom [he] no longer believed.” (91) Here, the motif of “eyes” is important because it shows how even though Elie had lost all faith in God, he still found himself asking for support from Him.
In other words, Wiesel's faith was challenged when he saw horrible cruel acts and his god did nothing about it. Also he mentioned that children's bodies transformed into smoke and god didn’t do anything. He thought god wouldn’t let such a horrible thing happen. Which then caused him to question his faith and god. Poem Paragraph