Wiesel’s book talks about Jews’ suffering during the holocaust. The book echoes events in Germany during the Nazi era. The book also reminisces events in Germany’s colonies during the Nazi era. Wiesel uses Eliezer to express Jews’ experiences during the holocaust. At a tender age of twelve, Eliezer endures some of the worst experiences in life. Eventually, Eliezer loses faith in God. Moreover, fellow prisoners like rabbi’s son, among others, dishonor their parents. However, Eliezer remains obedient to his father. This paper will explore Eliezer’s struggle to keep his faith in God (Sibelman 16).
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Eliezer’s Struggle to Keep his Faith in God
Throughout the book, Eliezer’s understanding of God changes. In the beginning, Eliezer’s family is conveyed as religious. Furthermore, the family is highly respected in Sighet. The book also states that Eliezer respects his father; he is also devoted to God. This is proved in his strict adherence to Jewish tradition. Wiesel argues that Eliezer is an Orthodox Jew; moreover, his parents are said to be staunch followers of Jewish laws and traditions.
In addition, Eliezer studies both Jewish Cabbala and Talmud, which signifies his faith in God. In essence, Eliezer’s faith in God at the beginning is irrevocable. However, the book also states that Eliezer’s father is unhappy with his unusual occupation. This shows that Eliezer’s reverence for God is absolute since he goes against his father just to discover the mysteries of God. In essence, Eliezer’s faith in God was strong in the beginning. This is quite evident in his struggles to study the laws of God, as well as God’s mystics (Wiesel 3).
After undergoing various horrendous situations, Eliezer’s faith begins to weaken. A vicious supervisor takes out his gold tooth. In addition, Eliezer witnesses numerous deaths in various terrifying conditions, which includes burning in furnaces, among others. Eliezer looks for his God to act, but nothing happens; this weakens his faith, especially when he witnesses people acting inhumanly.
Moreover, Eliezer’s friends become rebellious to their parents as seen in Rabbi Eliahou’s son, among others. His experience is highly psychological considering his age at the time of these horrendous acts. The acts weaken Eliezer’s faith in God; however, the acts do not affect his commitment to the father (Wiesel 12).
Eliezer’s friend Akiba Drumer loses faith in God during these experiences. It is also necessary to note that since Eliezer remains committed to his father, he does not completely loose his faith in God because God commands him to honor his parents, which he does to the very end. Moreover, he acknowledges that God has covered his face in order not to see their annihilations because they have rebelled against him (Young 25).
This paper gives a clear picture of people with unfailing faith in God. Initially, Eliezer stands firm in his commitment to God despite the happenings round him. In fact, Eliezer sympathizes with the biblical Job over the latter’s experiences in the full glare of God. While some victims become rebellious, Eliezer keeps faith and even recognizes the fact that they betrayed God.
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However, it is important to note that Eliezer’s faith weakens as the horrendous happenings take toil on him. This is clear when he says, “God is hanging from the gallows as well.” However, Eliezer only considers renouncing God to save his life, but keeps God’s commandments. This is evident at the end when Eliezer demands religious burial for his father (Wieseltier 10).
Sibelman, Simon. Silence in the Novels of Elie Wiesel, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night, New York: Hill and Wang Press, 2006. Print.
Wieseltier, Leon. Kaddish, New York: Random House, 1998. Print.
Young, James. Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1990. Print.