Faith In God

Faith In God

Elie has been a follower of God ever since he was brought into this world, and truthfully I cannot imagine him ever giving up hope in his God. I would have to say probably the only thing in the world that could have ever managed to make Elie even doubt his God one bit would be the holocaust. It would be understandable because throught the entire novel he is faced with many ‘obsticles’ that would have easily made anyone turn their backs on God. Elie is a different case though, from a young age starting his path with God.

Wiesel thought of his God before as well as during the Holocaust as both the ‘protector’ and ‘punisher’ of the Jewish people. Whatever had happened before, he had faith that it was for their good, or one of ‘God’s greater plans’. Either way, he would accept God’s will without questioning. When rumors of the Nazis’ crimes first reached some of the outlying Jewish towns, like Wiesel’s Sighet, no one believed them. The rabbis said “Nothing will happen to us, for God needs us. ” The town felt that God was with them and would protect them from anything as horrible as what these rumors suggested.

They felt safe and secure in their faith or in ‘God’s hands’. ? If I had to rely on anyone to keep their faith in God I would like to think that Elie would be the right candadate. I know this because at the very beginning of the novel he was on a path of dedicating his entire life to his God and every day studied ‘Talmud’, and at one point in time he even asked his father to find him a master who could guide him in his studies of Kabbalah and at such a young age. To dedicate one’s life to such a thing would mean he must have cared deeply about his religious belief’s and more than likely would not stop worshipping until the day of his death.

His faith in God would later be ‘tested’ to the full extent, that test ofcourse would be the ‘holocaust’. It was not easy for Wiesel to doubt in his God, or he would not have held on to his faith with such tenacity. But sooner or later, he would have to come to realize the suffering of his people, and what they were enduring was not going to end any time soon by his ‘God’ and had to burst into the consciousness of his seemingly innocent mind. At one point in time later in the novel after enduring many horrid things he thouht to himself, “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? ” And stopped praying for a while, knowing nothing was going to happen, or anyone to be saved by God. One night he awoke to the idea that he was “alone-terribly alone in a world without God… ” Lack of faith turned quickly to despair, if God wouldn’t save His children, who would? No one believed the rumors of peace and safety. All around Wiesel, the number of faithful were dropping. As hard as they tried to hold on, Wiesel’s people were finding it hard to believe in God and what He was allowing to happen. ? Every day I was moving a little further away from the God of my childhood. He has become a stranger to me; sometimes, I even thought he was my enemy. ” These are the things that Elie was thinking as each day passed by and no justice was taking place, in fact many Jews throughout the concentration camps died challenging God himself for the fact that nothing was happening or taking place when his aid was needed most by many people. Others, like Wiesel, were given the burden of carrying the questions with them, never to be answered. At the hanging of the angel-faced pipel, Wiesel had an answer, when someone asked, “Where is God now? And I heard a voice within me answer him, Where is He? Here He is,He is hanging here on these gallows… ” The destruction of his faith in the God of his childhood was complete. No longer did his name bring cries of praise from Wiesel. God seemed unworthy in the face of His worshipers to accept their worship. ? I could not possibly begin to imagine the things everyone was going through in those concentration camps or the holocaust in general, and I share the sorrow with everyone who has ever read night or gone through the holocaust as an act of mourn and respect. These people did not deserve this treatment by any means neccisary!

I cannot say why Elie’s God did not act as the savior he was thought out to be. Seen during the Holocaust, God appears cruel. He allowed the pain to continue for His own cruel purposes. This cruel God is the object of Wiesel’s anger. The energy once spent in worship of God was transferred to accusing God, denouncing God, and demanding an explanation from God. This is shown when Elie denounces Him in one of the camps thinking “In the concentration camp I had cried out in sorrow and anger against God and also against man, who seemed to have inherited only the cruelty of his creator. ‘ God played a cruel game, and it destroyed the importance Wiesel had felt about the Jewish role in God’s world. Wiesel asks, “What is man? Ally of God or simply his toy? ” He feels like he was in the hands of a spoiled and cruel child, rather than a caring, loving, merciful God who should be saving the Jews instead of watching them die at the hands of his other ‘creations’. It was as if God didn’t care what happened anymore. It is also brought out that God was doing one of two things, He was either ignoring what was happening or approving of it, really though either way it was cruel. The result of all the events and many gruesome things that he went through had transpired into Elie Wiesel still questioning God. He knows that his relationship with God has changed significantly. He declared that his whole reason for taking up the study in ‘philosophy’ initially is that “so many questions obsessed me. Where is God to be found? In suffering or in rebellion? When is a man most truly a man? When he submits or when he refuses? Where does suffering lead him? To purification or to bestiality? Philosophy, I hoped, would give me an answer. ‘ These are questions that only God himself can answer in my opinion, and i’m sure these questions are asked frequently throughout the world without a proper answer most of the time. ? My conclusion of this thesis is that in the end Elie Wiesel kept his faith to his God, maybe not nearly as strong as times before the holocaust but he stayed with Him and prevailed out of the harshest conditions of each concentration camp, and maybe God did have a part in all this? His survival is extrordinary, bearing through the extremely harsh conditions, keeping his integerety until the end and making it out alive.

To me this seems like a ‘modern day miracle’, to see him make it through everything and come out later writing a novel about such conditions 10 years later (researched it) and his struggles with God, with the things he saw, heard, and coming out of this still ‘sane’? A story for the ages, and not to mention the many obsticles standing in his path, where he could have givin up and taken the easy way out, yes in this case death would have been the easier option, no longer being afraid of it, which is mentioned many times throught the book.

I must say this book has been an emotional rolercoaster for me to read, and I am very glad I was able to read it as well as to end it. I say this because the very essence of this novel almost draws a tear to my eye. When saying this I mourn the many lives taken in these horrible camps, the 6,000,000+ Jews exterminated all together throughout WW1. In saying this I conclude my essay letting you know that through all this terror and aggony Elie Wisel has kept his faith within God and has prevailed in surviving the many camps and death of his own father to share it with the many curious readers out there in his novel “Night”. ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

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