Religion

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  • In the beginning of the novel, it is clear that religion is a huge part of Elie's life and he is searching for a master so he can further his studies.
  • One day I asked my father to find me a master to guide me in my studies of Kabbalah.
  • In this event, Elie is clearly becoming discouraged in celebrating Passover while the Germans are occupying Sighet. He certainly is losing some of his faith as the Germans close in.
  • We drank, we ate, we sang. The Bible commands us to rejoice during the eight days of celebration, but our hearts were not in it. We wished the holiday would end so we would not have to pretend.
  • As Elie arrives at the camp and discovers the whole truth about the crematorium and the Nazis' plan, others around him begin to pray, but he begins to question his faith since his God put this kind of evil in the world.
  • 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?
  • In the midst of all the horrible treatment Elie is receiving at the camp, he still has the ability to thank God for even the smallest things like having his shoes hidden from the guards under mud.
  • I thanked God, in an improvised prayer, for having created mud in His infinite and wondrous universe.
  • It is clear that at this point in the novel, Elie is seriously questioning his faith and why his God put this type of evil in the world. This is also during the time of Rosh Hashanah where Elie decides not to fast.
  • 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 Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?
  • At this point late in the novel, Elie says that he no longer believes in God, but still prays. Essentially in this prayer, Elie is asking God to allow him to keep his humanity and to remain a good person while in the camp.
  • 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.
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