Elie Wiesel; Religious Change

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  • This is the first occurrence where we see Elie breaking away from religion and seeing the reality of the situation at hand.
  • 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?
  • "May his name be sanctified and celebrated..."
  • Now, he is questioning the power of God and his greatness within the real world. Also, he starts becoming angry with God and his lack of help.
  • What are You my God? How do You compare to this stricken mass gathered to affirm to You their faith, their anger, their defiance?... Why do You go on troubling there poor people's wounded minds, their ailing bodies?
  • I was the accuser, God was the accused... I was nothing but ashes now but I felt myself to be stronger than this Almighty to whom my life had been bound to for so long. In the midst of these men assembles for prayer, I felt like an observer, a stranger.
  • Elie now starts to release himself from the hands of God and into his own hands since he's the only one in the camp that can change anything happening to him.
  • God has become ungrateful to Elie in this scene and he no longer accepts Him or his strange reasoning for being silent during this drastic time.
  • And then, there was no longer any reason for me to fast. I no longer accepted God's silence. As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him.
  • We see Elie doing nothing in the memory of his father's death. He didn't recite Kaddish, or even give a prayer. After his dad's death, nothing mattered to him anymore.
  • No prayers were said over his tomb. No candle lit in his memory. His last word had been my name. He called out to me and I did not answer.
  • Even when it was all over, no one including Elie thought of deceased parents, let alone the other Jews who died during the time.
  • Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto e provisions. That's all we thought about. No thought of revenge, or of parents. Only of bread.
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