Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chapter 1 (pages 3-22) -- Elie as a boy . . .

Where does Eli live as a boy?
How important is religion to Eli as a boy? What are his ambitions?
How does this change when the Nazis come to his village?


  1. As a boy, Elie Wiesel lives at Sighet, a little town in Transylvania. For Elie, his religion is very important to him. Everyday he prays, just like he lives and he breathes; he has no speciffic reason for praying. Elie wants someone to teach him the secrets Jewish mysticism, the Zohar, the Kabbalistic works. One day, Elie finds someone like a teacher for him, Moshie the Beadle, but when all the foreigners are deported from his town, Moshie has to leave; Elie no longer has a teacher. Later on, the Nazis arrive at Elie's town, and prohibit the people to attend synagogues. Another rule that the Nazis issue is that no one can leave their homes after six o'clock in the evening. All these rules the Nazis create and the tension among the people prevent Elie from praying everyday like he used to.

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  4. Carolina, you make a good point when you say he prays like he breathes. To little Elie living in a tight Jewish comunity in Sighet, his religion is not only a way of life, he becomes it. He and his religion are merged into one, becoming one being. When he prays, he doesn't just repeat memorized chants, he speaks from the bottom of his soul, as if his whole life depended on it. He trusts unwaveringly in the God of his forefathers. Maybe it's his age that enables him to believe in everything presented to him as the truth. Wanting to honor his God and submerge himself more into his religion, he wants to explore the different Jewish texts. But once the Nazis take over, his faith starts to slowly dwindle when he sees that his prayers are not making an effect.