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Joanna Ratigan Ms.

Whyman English 10 13 October 2013 Elies Loss of Faith In chapter 5 of Night, Elie claimed to have forgotten to say the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, for a friend at the camp. Gradually, since first being taken to Auschwitz, Elies faith has declined. His inability to say the Kaddish is a huge change since the beginning of the book. Elies interest in religion is very prominent at the beginning of the book. One day I asked my father to find me a master to guide me in my studies of the cabbala. Youre too young for that. Maimonides said it was only at thirty that one had the right to venture into the perilous world of mysticismI found a master for myself, Moshe the Beadle. The cabbala is an ancient Jewish tradition not to be studied by children, as Elies father said, at least not until age thirty. Even then, only the very seriously religious Jews study it. Elie going on his own to find a teacher by himself proves his interest and dedication to Judaism. Further on in the book, when they first arrive at Auschwitz, his faith begins to erode, when he hears a man reciting the Kaddish for himself. For the first time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for? Much of the Kaddish is praising God. Glorified and sanctified be Gods great nameMay His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He Elie begins to feel angered upon hearing the words of the man, because he believes that their current state is no reason to praise God. At that moment, he had nothing to thank God for, and he was losing faith in Him. From then on, his faith only declines more, until he has just about none left. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith foreverWhat are You, my GodWhy do You still trouble their sick minds, their crippled bodies?Why, but why should I bless HimBecause He had had thousands of children burned in His pitsBecause in His great might He had createdso many factories of deathWho chose us from among the races to be tortured day and nightWho hast chosen us to be butchered on Thine altar? Elie indignantly questions why he should praise God after all the torture he and his people have been through. While other people are preaching, Blessed be the Name of the EternalAll creation bears witness to the Greatness of God! Elie is outraged at the hell theyve been put through and refuses to idolize the One who he believes is responsible, if not for creating the abuse, then for not stopping it. In chapter 5, a fellow prisoner Elie had known at was sent to the crematories after a selection at Buna. Before he leaves, he asked that they say the Kaddish for him. In three days I shall no longer be hereSay the Kaddish for

me. We promised him. In three days time, when we saw the smoke rising from the chimney, we wouldhold a special service. All of his friends would say the KaddishAnd three days after he had gone we forgot to say the Kaddish. He had not said the Kaddish for a friend. Elie was unable to recite the prayer for the dead, but maybe not because he had forgotten or was crushed with work. Many times earlier in the book, he had been outraged at Gods injustice. His faith has been declining since the beginning of the book, when he wept as he prayed every evening and wanted to study the cabbala. At the point of Akiba Drumers death, Elie has very little faith in God remaining; not even enough to say a prayer. Elies inability to say the Kaddish is a huge sign of his loss of faith. He goes from daily religious studies and discussions with Moshe the Beadle to wanting to revolt against God and his creating of the torture they were living through. Finally, he even failed to say the Kaddish for a friend. Elies faith has greatly declined since the beginning of the book, especially made clear by his not reciting the Kaddish. Elie had angrily questioned Gods reasoning for the abuse upon seeing the bodies of children burning, after the hangings and all the way up until the selection, when he lost Akiba Drumer. Elie used to believe that God would always be there to save everyone from the bad times, but he was proven wrong time and time again as many more lives were lost and the pain continued.