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The Holocaust forces Eliezer to ask horrible questions about the nature of good and evil and about whether God exists.But the very fact that he asks these questions reflects his commitment to God.
He wonders how a benevolent God could be part of such depravity and how an omnipotent God could permit such cruelty to take place.
His faith is equally shaken by the cruelty and selfishness he sees among the prisoners.
It showed that while in public, they were to be mistreated simply because of their religion.
However, these were only the first steps of their plan.
As Wiesel demonstrates in the novel, “Three days later, a new decree: Every Jew had to wear the yellow star.” (Wiesel, 11) The yellow star was a cloth patch to mark a person as Jewish.
It was intended to be a badge of shame associated with Anti-Semitism or discrimination against the Jews.The Holocaust began to surface after months progressed slowly.Eliezer’s strong faith began to waver as Moishe the Beadle, a pious old Jew, explains: “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” (Wiesel, 5) Moishe’s words frame the conflict of Eliezer’s struggle for faith.As the Nazis continue to commit inhumane acts of discrimination, three powerful themes arise: religion, night, and memory.As the novel begins to unfold, Anti-Semitism does as well.Indeed, even when Eliezer says that he has given up on God completely, Wiesel’s constant use of religious metaphors undercuts what Eliezer says he believes.Eliezer even refers to biblical passages when he denies his faith.This struggle doesn’t diminish his belief in God; rather, it is essential to the existence of that belief.When Moishe the Beadle is asked why he prays, he replies, “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.” In other words, questioning is fundamental to the idea of faith in God.But he sees that the Holocaust exposes the selfishness, evil, and cruelty of which everybody—not only the Nazis, but also his fellow prisoners, his fellow Jews, even himself—is capable.If the world is so disgusting and cruel, he feels, then God either must be disgusting and cruel or must not exist at all.