By Elie Wiesel
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Extra info for Elie Wiesel's Night, New edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
First, he gives a couple of contrasting instances where sons violate the sanctity of their sacred obligation at the cost of their lives. For example, Rabbi Eliahou’s son is missing after he betrays his father “to free himself from an encumbrance which could lessen his own chances of survival” (103). Another son kills his old father mercilessly for a bit of bread. He is immediately killed by other prisoners, in a similar manner, for the same (112–113). Secondly, the author reveals the conflict that arises at times in the most secret region of Eliezer’s heart.
He could not help it—even during the dark night of Auschwitz. Quite the opposite is true. He tells us in Night that as a child: “I ran to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple. . ” When he returns to the devastated sanctuary of his childhood soul, Elie may find there the “gift of tears” that God grants to those He loves. Tears and consolation without previous cause are inexpressible yet certain signs of God’s presence. This sanctuary of his childhood was burnt to the ground when Elie witnessed the Germans hurl into the “huge flames” of the furnace a truckload of small children still alive.
For Wiesel has remained a man of faith, even when all evidence of God’s presence was destroyed. His testimony—all his work—brings us back not to the horror of the past, but to the threshold where our personal responsibility still operates. He warns us about the nature of the danger that can always surface again. This is Elie Wiesel’s mission and what makes his message unique. He did not take it on himself, but he received it from the fervent Jewish saints who preceded us, tsadikim, hassidim; he received it from On-High.
Elie Wiesel's Night, New edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Elie Wiesel