13 April 2015
Faith, Hunger and Identity
Elie Weisel tells his experience during the holocaust in the book Night. Elie faced multiple life-changing experiences. His sense of humanity in others slowly vanishes throughout his time in the concentration camps. He was constantly searching for food in order to stay alive and while doing so he lost his faith in God and his identity. Due to abusive treatment Elie witnesses and endures at the hands of the Nazis during WWII, he is stripped of his former self and loses his identity.
Growing up, Elie was a strong believer in God. As time passed while living in the concentration camps, Elie began to lose faith in God. Many were filled with grief realizing that the God they were so loyal to abandoned them when they were subject to such cruelty. This caused several Jews, including Elie, to rebel against their religious upbringing by not fasting on Yom Kippur, an important Jewish holiday. “For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. 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?” said Elie. (Wiesel 32). All around Elie, people of the Jewish faith slowly stopped having faith in God. "I did not deny god's existence, but I doubted his absolute justice. (45). As hard as Elie tried to hold onto his faith, he found it hard to bless God in the midst of his suffering.
The right to food and water was taken from Elie while living in the concentration camps. Hunger consumed the Jews and soon became unbearable. “One day when we had come to a stop, a worker took a piece of bread out of his bag and threw it into a wagon. There was a stampede. Dozens of starving men fought desperately over a few crumbs. The worker watched the spectacle with great interest.” (100). Bread became an object that was hoarded for oneself in an every-man-for-himself philosophy. “Listen to me, kid. Don’t forget...