Elie Wiesel's Loss Of Faith

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“I have come to the conclusion that the most important element in human life is faith” ( Rose Kennedy). Bereft of faith, one is merely an empty shell who strives for nothing in life. Elie Wiesel uses Night to comment on the effects of the Holocaust that cause the loss of his faith. Elie Wiesel, once a religiously dedicated child, endures anguish and suffering in the concentration camps, which leads to the wavering of his belief in God and ultimately the destruction of it, transforming him into a soulless corpse.
Religion was a crucial part of Elie’s life; however, when he first experiences the horrors from the Holocaust, the meaning of religion for him gradually changes. As a thirteen-year-old child, Elie was significantly more religious and
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The torturesome experiences further enhance the realization of God’s apathy for the Jews’ suffering, destroying Elie idea of the loving God. As a result, while others are honoring God, “every fiber in [Elie] rebelled”, questioning himself “[how he could] say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who [chooses them] among all nations to be tortured day and night ” (67). The belief that God is neglecting the helpless cries of Jews devours Elie’s faith, completely changing Elie’s respect for Him, and on the day of Yom Kippur, he does not fast like the others because “ there was no longer any reason for [him] to fast. [He] no longer accept[s] God's silence. As [he] swallowed [his] ration of soup, [he turns] that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him” (69), defying God for allowing Jews to suffer as a result of their persistent belief in Him. Faith of Elie is at last demolished when he witnesses the hanging of an innocent child. Seeing that God has allowed such inhumane event to happen sinks Elie’s faith completely, and when he is asked: “where is God?” Elie answers himself “Where He is? This is where—hanging here from this gallows…”(65), indicating the death of God in Elie’s mind. The devout Jew that Elie once was is now obliterated as a result of the Holocaust. The loss of faith transforms Elie into a person that no longer recognizes God, and thus when others are praying, Elie feels “terribly alone in a world without God… In the midst of these men assembled for prayer, [he feels] like an observer, a stranger”(68). Although Elie is at last finally liberated, his soul and faith remain in the camps, and as he looks into his reflection for the first time after the Holocaust, “[f]rom the depths of the mirror, a corpse [is] contemplating [him]. The look in

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