Night And Eliezer Eliezer was a young boy when the Holocaust began. He saw his family, his friends, and his fellow Jews humiliated and murdered. This autobiography, Night, was written by Eliezer Wiesel. He wrote about what horrors he saw and went through during this dreadful period in time. The first part of the book is when he was very religious and prays with Moshe. When the German soldiers come into their town the townspeople fear them.
But this is when he begins to become doubtful. For the rest of the novel, Eliezer starts to question his God. Eliezer Wiesel was twelve when he first met Moshe the Beadle. At this time in his life, he was a big believer in God. He studied the Talmud during the day and at night he prayed at the synagogue.
One day Eliezer asked his father, who was a rabbi, “Can you find me a master to guide me in my studies of the cabbala?”(1) But his father simply replied, “Youre too young for that. Maimonides said it was only at thirty that one had the right to venture into the perilous world of mysticism.” (1-2) In return to this statement made by his father, he went out to find his own. This is when he found Moshe. Almost every evening, they would talk about God and sit in the synagogue and pray. Moshe became Eliezers master to show him the mysteries of the cabbala.
During these nights, Eliezer said, “We would read together, ten times over, the same page of the Zohar. Not to learn it by heart, but to extract the divine essence from it.”(3) Since Moshe was a foreign Jew, he had been taken away to a concentration camp. He had escaped only to be able to tell the townspeople what he had seen. No one believed him. Even Eliezer did not believe his foolish story.
But Eliezer could see that Moshe had changed. He no longer talked about God and the cabbala. People thought he was a madman. “What an imagination he has!” people said. (5) People continued to do their daily tasks as if he had not said anything at all.
Although Eliezer heard horrible stories from Moshe, he still continued his studies of the cabbala. A while later, Germans were known to be in a town close by Sighet. The optimists thought they would not come to our town though because there are strategic and political reasons why they would not want to leave that town. But, three days later, they were in Sighet. At first, they acted friendly and one even gave gifts to Eliezer neighbor who was housing him. By the seventh night of Passover, the nightmare began.
All the leaders of the Jewish community had been arrested. They had rules the people had to obey like wearing yellow star and staying in our house for a certain amount of days, etc. The next thing that came was deportation. The people had to wait on a blazing hot street waiting for their turn to come. Little by little, Eliezer started to disbelieve that there was a God.
“Oh God, Lord of the Universe, take pity upon us in thy great mercy,” the people said. (17) The night before they left they didnt pray to pass the time more quickly. When they arrived at the first camp, his father and Eliezer were separated from the rest of his family. He heard about people who went to the crematory and the gas chambers. His father started praying.
“For the first time, I felt a revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for?”(31) Moving from one concentration camp to another, Eliezer saw many more deaths. While at Buna, he witnessed many more deaths and hangings. While watching three prisoners die slow and miserable deaths, Eliezer heard a man behind him say, “Where is God now?”(62) I replied in my head “Where is He? Here He is-He is hanging here on this gallows.”(62) Later in the novel, his father gets very sick .The doctors can not help him. While roll call his father called Eliezers name, but the officer told him to be quiet. He did not hear and continued to call for me.
He was shot in the head, but did not die immediately. He managed to get out the word one last time “Eliezer.” When I woke up the next day he was not in his bunk. The Nazis took him to the crematory. There were no prayers at his grave. Although Eliezer was sometimes a disbeliever, he had faith even at difficult times.
When Eliezer received new shoes, he would have had to give them to the Kapo. It would have been a very bad thing if he were to have to do that. So he put his shoes in a thick layer of mud so that they would not be able to tell. He “thanked God, in an improvised prayer, for having created mud in His infinite and wonderful universe. (35) He thanked God for the tiniest things.
Some people in the camp still talked about God. Others versed the cabbala. “But I had ceased to pray.. I did not deny Gods existence, but I doubted His absolute justice.”(42) One person, Akiba Drummer thought God was testing them and wanted to see if they could kill the Satan in them. In conclusion, Eliezer saw his family, his friends, and his fellow Jews humiliated and murdered.
This autobiography, Night, was written about what horrors he saw and went through during this dreadful period in time. There were two different phases he went through. He was at first very religious and prays with Moshe. For the rest of the book, after the Nazis take over his hometown, Sighet, Eliezer starts to question his God. Even though he may have doubted his God at times, he still thanked God for letting him survive.