Examining Eliezers Struggle With His Faith Religion Essay
The Holocaust presents one of the most disturbing questioning of faith of the twentieth century. This memoir is full of different views on faith and God. As a survivor of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel has to go over his belief in God in his world. He does so through Night, in which he questions God and tells us the answers, or lack of answers, that he receives to the questions he poses throughout Night. But his faith is traumatized dramatically by his experience throughout the Holocaust and Night.
As soon as Eliezer arrived at Auschwitz, his faith went down the drain, "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed....Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never." chapter three, page thirty-four. He could not understand why God, if there was a God, would do this to innocent human beings. But, his faith was not completely lost, or not at this point in the memoir. His feeling of God is on the track to go back, after he had been at the concentration camp for a few weeks. It was one night while lying in the barracks when he was beginning to realize that, “Some of the men spoke of God: His mysterious ways, the sins of the Jewish people, and the redemption to come. As for me, I had ceased to pray. I concurred with Job! I was not denying His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice. Akiba Drumer said: ‘God is testing us. He wants to see whether we are capable of overcoming our base instincts, of killing the Satan within ourselves. We have no right to despair. And if He punishes us mercilessly, it is a sign that He loves us that much more…’” chapter three, page forty-five. Akiba’s faith helps Eliezer keep his throughout this point in the novel. This was not for long though because Akiba soon loses his faith, too. Akiba Drumer also lost the incentive to live which causes him to fail selection. This shows that Eliezer still has some faith left because he was able to pass. Beforehand, he told the people from their block, including Eliezer, to say Kaddish for him, this is something they never did for him. This event shows that Eliezer has become familiar to death, so used to it that he forgot to recite Kaddish. Which began Eliezer’s many, many questions to God throughout Night. Here being several very important ones, “Blessed be God's name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves? Because He kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy Days? Because in His great might, He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in the furnaces? Praised be Your Holy name, thou who hast chosen us to be butchered on thine alter …But now, I no longer pleaded for anything. I was no longer able to lament. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man… My eyes were open and I was alone-terribly alone in a world without God and without man” chapter four, page sixty-seven through sixty-eight. His faith keeps lowering and lowering as the time goes on while he is in these concentration camps.
Eliezer got some faith back when he said, “[Rabbi Eliahou’s son] had felt that his father was growing weak, he had believed that the end was near and had thought this separation in order to get rid of the burden, to free himself from an encumbrance which could lessen his own chances of survival. I had done well to forget that. And I was glad that Rabbi Eliahou should continue to look for his beloved son. And, in spite of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to that God in whom I no longer believed. My God, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou’s son has done.” chapter six, page ninety-one. Eliezer’s prayer to God reflects how he has not lost his faith. Because Eliezer senses his weakness, he asks a greater power for help. Even though he says he no longer believes in God, but he nevertheless turns to God when he doubts his ability to control himself.
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