Eliezer loves both his family and God-given his strict reverence to the Jewish tradition. However, he seems to love God more than he loves his father. This is evident when he defies his father’s wish by studying Cabbala. However, as trouble surfaces, he tends to lose faith in God but retains a love for his father. In essence, the bond between Eliezer and his father strengthens as they face difficult situations. This paper will explore the relationship between Eliezer and his father throughout the story (Wieseltier 42).
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The Relationship between Eliezer and his Father
Eliezer is depicted as a staunch orthodox Jew. He follows Jewish traditions as well as laws. Moreover, he studies Jewish mystics known as Cabbala. This shows how far Eliezer is willing to go to be an obedient boy. Moreover, his strict adherence to Jewish tradition shows how much he loves his father. Besides, the law commands him to obey his father and mother.
Nonetheless, there is an instance where he goes against his father’s wish. For instance, he chooses to study Cabbala against his father’s wish. However, his father does not react angrily at him. This also shows his father’s love for him. In essence, the two characters have a warm relationship, which shows their deep love for one another (Wiesel 18).
Eliezer witnesses a terrifying situation where a son beats his father. This is abominable in Jewish tradition. However, these problems only bring him close to his father. He is completely disgusted at the happenings around him. Moreover, he notes that Rabbi Eliahou’s son has bad motives for his father. Family bonds are raptured in camps yet Eliezer’s love for his father remains intact.
Father-son bond is seen to have helped Eliezer to survive inhuman acts. Moreover, their bond overcomes selfish behaviors that surround them. Throughout the story, Eliezer’s bond to his father only increases. He even feels guilty of his father’s death at the end. For instance, Eliezer feels that he had “sacrificed his father.” He compares this to Akedah in which Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son (Wiesel 38).
Eliezer feels that his love for father was inadequate. Eliezer feels that his father sacrificed a lot for him. In addition, he feels that he should have done more to help his father. It can, therefore, be seen that Eliezer’s love for his father grows throughout the story. He sees his father as the only savior against his adversaries. Eliezer’s sadness at his father’s death shows how much he loved him. Moreover, their experiences together only draw them close to one another. In essence, the relationship between son and father grows tremendously during the Holocaust (Cargas 27).
Eliezer narrates that his father’s love and support was essential in his survival during the Holocaust. He witnesses other prisoners who dishonor their parents; however, he remains obedient to his father. This is evident when Eliezer prays that he obeys his father. Even though Eliezer’s psychological journey robs him of faith in God, he remains steadfast in his obedience to his father. The family bond between Eliezer and his father is strong. He testifies that his father’s love and support has kept him alive. For instance, he says that his father’s backing saved him from giving up in life. Therefore, it can be seen that the relationship between Eliezer and his father strengthens even more during these spiteful occurrences (Fine 12).
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Cargas, Harry. Telling the Tale: A Tribute to Elie Wiesel, St. Louis, Missouri: Time Being Books, 1993. Print.
Fine, Ellen. Legacy of Night: The Literary Universe of Elie Wiesel, Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1982. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night, New York: Hill and Wang Press, 2006. Print.
Wieseltier, Leon. Kaddish, New York: Random House, 1998. Print.