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  • In the beginning, it was as if Judaism was the most important thing to Elie. It was as if it was his whole life.
  • "Why do you pray?" he asked after a moment.
  • Why did I pray? Strange question? Why did I live? Why did I breathe?
  • And Moshe the Beadle, the poorest of the poor in Sighet, spoke to me for hours on end about the Kabbalah’s revelations and its mysteries. Thus began my initiation. Together we would read, over and over again, the same pages of the Zohar. Not to learn it by heart but to discover within the very essence of divinity.
  • Early on in the story, Elie devoted his life to learning about his religion. Practicing Judaism was what he felt he was destined to do.
  • Elie, along with many others around him, began to feel less and less obligated to follow through with the laws of Judaism. It seemed unimportant to them now because fending for their life was the priority.
  • The Bible commands us to rejoice during the eight days of celebration, but our hearts were not in it.
  • Although Elie still believed in God, he ceased to believe that He was all-powerful. This caused him to stop participating in religious activities.
  • As for me, I had ceased to pray. I concurred the job! I was not denying His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice.
  • Blessed be God’s name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?
  • At this point in the story, Elie believed that if God was powerful and in agreement with goodness and humanity, He would not be burning millions of innocent people at the stake.
  • After all that he had been through, Elie's faith had overpowered his anger and discontent with God. In the end, Elie realized that his bond with Judaism was what kept him together all along.
  • And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside of me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed
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