The Horrors of the Holocaust in Night Essay Example
As the narrative “Night” depicts the horrors of the Holocaust, you see Elie’s changing attitude towards his religion and God. Religion plays an important role in Elie’s Wiesel’s life. As Elie Wiesel matures, his relationship between him and his religion, Judaism, changes drastically throughout the book. Elie Wiesel’s relationship with God and his religion changes from being devoted to it to not even acknowledging God’s existence
In the beginning of the book “Night”, Elie is devoted to his religion. He spends the majority of his time studying, and going to the synagogue to pray. The text states in “Night”, “By day I studied Talmud, and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple.” Elie is engaged into learning about God. He wanted to know everything he could about God, so he could become closer to him. Elie even decided to find him someone to teach him about the Kabbalah when his father wanted him not to study it. According the text, “He wanted to drive the idea of studying the Kabbalah from my mind. In vain.
I succeeded on my own in finding a master for myself in the person of Moishe the Beadle.” The text also states, “Thus began my initiation. Together we would read, over and over again, the same page of the Zohar. Not to learn it by heart but to discover within the very essence of divinity.” Elie Wiesel, at this point in the book, wanted to discover the divinity of God so deeply that he buried himself into his studies, went against his father’s wishes for him to not study to Kabbalah, and found himself master to study with. That would all change when Elie experienced the horrors of the Holocaust.
When Elie first caught a glimpse of the evils of the Holocaust, he started to question God’s power over humanity. He witnessed all the surrounding death, and wondered why the “all powerful God” wasn’t doing anything prevent those atrocious acts. The text states, “Babies! Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes...children thrown into the flames. The text also states, “Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?” Elie starts to question why God has left humanity alone to suffer in the Holocaust, and how he let innocent children be thrown into flames, including the ones depicted in the textual evidence. Elie also thought he was going to die as he was being taken to the barracks. The text states, “If that is true, then I don’t want to wait. I’ll run into the electrified barbed wire. That would be easier than a slow death in the flames.” After witnessing the death of the innocent children and having a near death experience himself, his faith in God was transformed forever. The text states, “Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned by dreams to ashes.” Those experiences changed Elie Wiesel’s perception of God forever.
Towards the end of the book, you see Elie not even acknowledging God’s existence because he is angry with him. He has seen so much suffering and dissolution that he believes God is not even there anymore. The text states, “For God’s sake, where is God? And from within me, I heard a voice answer: ‘Where He is? This is where-hanging here from this gallows…’ That night, the soup tasted of corpses. The text also states, “My eyes had opened, and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man... I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him.” After the young pipel, died Elie stated God was hanging “from the gallows.” That simply means God was “dead” to Elie. Elie later on ignored God’s entire existence. As you can tell from those pieces of textual evidence, Elie was livid at God for not preventing all the bad things happening to him in the Holocaust, and to other people, and he decided to ignore God. Elie now lived in his own reality where God didn’t exist.