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Amanda Dimande 1 English

Elies inability to say Kaddish in chapter 5 is symbolic to a greater loss. In chapter 5 of Night by Elie Wiesel, the main character Elie forgets to say Caddish for his old friend. Throughout the novel he slowly starts to lose faith in God who was once a very significant figure in his life. At the start of the story, Elie was a very strong worshiper of God and his life was somewhat based around his religion. As things change and Elie is exposed to a different side of life, he starts to continuously question god and all that he believed in. The center of his life becomes the struggle with his faith. By chapter 5 when Akiba Drumer dies, he asks Elie and other to say Kaddish for him but they dont. This is when Elie is at his breaking point and has lost not only his friend, but also his faith, values & innocence. In the first chapters of the novel, Elie is a very strong believer of God. He was very interested in the religion and he studied the Talmud and begged his father to find someone to teach him the Kabbalah. Contrary to his fathers orders, he was still taught the kabbalah. Elie says and their spoke of divine suffering, of the Shekinah in Exile, where, according to the kabbalah, it await its redemption linked to that of man. At this point he strongly believes in the kabbalah and often refers to it. Together we would read, over and over again, the same page of Zohar. Not to learn tit by heart but to discover with in the very essence of divinity. Elies religion played a large part in his life at the time to the point where he looked up to the poorest person in the town because he knew so much about the kabbalah. Elie still hasnt started to struggle with his faith and his beliefs. The first time that Elie questions god is when he is already at the concentration camp in Berkenau. He was very afraid due to the fact that the officer was leading them to a ditch of flames and they told them that they would burn to their deaths. When he over hears his father saying a prayer he says, Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and the terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for? He is starting to question his beliefs and wonder why he should praise someone that is doing nothing to save him when he needs him the most. Although people around him are using God to enhance their spirits, Elie is silently questioning him and his intentions. This is where Elies life really starts to turn around. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments, which murdered my God. . Slowly his faith starts to fade because he sees his life in a new light. Another important factor is that Elie is only 15 at this time and he is being exposed to such explicit things. As a child he was taught that God was their savior and would be the answer to all his questions so his

adolescent mind starts to wonder that if go is so great, why is he letting all these sinister things occur. At the beginning of the holocaust, Elie is very innocent and young. As he is exposed to so many things he would have never imagined, specifically that hanging of a child. Elie is horrified by what he had to witness and this is when he is at his lowest point. The death of the child can also symbolize the death of his faith when he says, Where is he? He wonders where God is when the child is being murdered. Elies experience at the camp changes him as an individual. He had witnessed many deaths and a lot of suffering of the people around him. He no longer saw the world through the same eyes he used to because he now knew so much more than he did before he arrived in Auschwitz. When he had first arrived and saw babies being thrown into the burning flames, he was astonished and said Babies! Yes, I did see this with my own eyes children being thrown into flames. As the novel progresses, these things stop shocking Elie as they used to. When Elie sees this he is filled with anger and wonders why he needs to experience this. Later, when a Kapo beats his father, he doesnt question god or question fate but he questions and becomes angry at his father. Why couldnt he have avoided Ideks wrath? His morals and values are changing and he is starting to think more about keeping himself and his father out of danger and alive than anything else. His thoughts are no longer innocent and modest. In the 5th chapter, his acquaintance Akiba Drumer dies. Because Akiba knew he was going to die and wouldnt pass selection, he asked that Elie and others say Kaddish for him when he was gone. There followed terrible days. The work was crushing. And three days after he left, we forgot to say Kaddish Earlier on, religion was the most fundamental part of Elies life. He had drastically changed throughout his experiences at the camps and other things had taken over his life. When he witnessed the small child being hung he lost his faith and his innocence and when he witnesses his father being beaten, he realizes that his morals had also changed and that he no longer had the same value that he had prior to being take to the concentration camps.