Week 27–Introduction to Night, by Elie Weisel

We are going to start reading the book Night, by Elie Weisel. This book is so good, and there are a couple of striking aspects of it that we are going to spend time pondering and discussing. It certainly provides a unique perspective of this historical event. I mean the Holocaust was what it was, but each person who endured it came out of it with different beliefs, perspectives and views. In the end, I want you to be able to value each view, and compare and contrast his perspective with Corrie Ten Boom’s perspective. They are very different, but they are both significant.

Monday– 

  • Read the Forward to Night (in the beginning of the book), by François Mauriac  and pay attention to the last paragraph.

“And I, who believe that God is love, what answer was there to give my young interlocutor whose dark eyes still held the reflection of the angelic sadness that had appeared one day on the face of a hanged child? What did I say to him? Did I speak to him of that other Jew, this crucified brother who perhaps resembled him and whose cross conquered the world? Did I explain to him that what had been a stumbling block for his faith had become a cornerstone for mine? And that the connection between the cross and human suffering remains, in my view, the key to the unfathomable mystery in which the faith of his childhood was lost? And yet, Zion has risen up again out of the crematoria and the slaughterhouses. The Jewish nation has been resurrected from among its thousands of dead. It is they who have given it new life. We do not know the worth of one single drop of blood, one single tear. All is grace. If the Almighty is the Almighty, the last word for each of us belongs to Him. That is what I should have said to the Jewish child. But all I could do was embrace him and weep.”

  • Think about it, you have a Christian point of view. What would you do or say to Elie Wiesel if you talked to him about his experience? Would you try to offer him wisdom? counsel? Would you try to “make sense” of the tragedy? Or would you be afraid that your words would offend or hurt him? Would you just love him, and hug him and weep? Leave your answer in the comments below.
  • Read page 1-46 (The first three chapters) Please underline important sentences and make Brandi Notes in the margin.
  • For the “Brandi Notes” just underline the lines that are important and see if you can find any themes as you are reading, write those themes in the margin. Ex. Sorrow, hope, faith, love, fear, anger. You must write the themes on the back cover (inside) and then list the page numbers underneath so you can keep track of common themes. Ex. For “faith” you can have of 47, 63, 65, 89 etc (I just made those up). Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thinking and Writing Questions

  1. What happened to Moishe the Beadle in the first chapter of the book?
  2. What warning did Moishe the Beadle give to the community?
  3. How did the community treat him?
  4. Do you see how this can happen in your life? Amid all the conspiracy theories, will people really believe that a government has plans to annihilate people?
  5. Are there any conspiracy theories that you have heard of, that people seem to blow off? Please describe some of them and then discuss what your thoughts and feeling about them are. It could be as simple as Big Foot, Moth Man, Aliens, Chemtrails, HAARP, the illuminati, or Project 21.

Tuesday–

  • Read page 47-97 (chapters 4-6)
  • Underline important passages and take Brandi Notes in the margin.

Thinking and Writing Questions

  1. Describe the process of denial that took place as the Jews were increasingly oppressed? Before they were even taken to the camps, what did the government force them to do? How did they respond? Did they think it was temporary, or did they think things would get worse?
  2. Elie wanted to study the Kabbalah, how is that different from the Old Testament teachings of Judaism? Please read this links before you answer: Kabbalah Origins and Kabbalah Popularity.

Wednesday–

  • Read page 98-116 (chapters 7-9)
  • Underline important passages and take Brandi Notes in the margin
  • Read Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech page 117-120

Thinking and Writing Questions

  1. What do you think of the book? What was your favorite part? What did you learn about the Holocaust after reading this story, that you had never heard before? What aspect of Elie’s experience struck you as fresh and significant?

Thursday–

Thinking and Writing Questions

  1. Short Essay: (MLA) Describe how this experience affected Elie Wiesel’s faith in God. This answer should be at least a page long and use at least 3 quotes from the book (with page numbers). This is an informal essay, so you can write it like a journal. Just be sure to use proper MLA format for the heading and the in text citation.

 

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8 thoughts on “Week 27–Introduction to Night, by Elie Weisel

  1. The only thing that I would ask is, “how, if this should ever happen again, can we prevent such evil from happening?” and of course I would listen with my ears open wide. Information like this cannot be heard, or told again when these people die. To be able to prevent any catastrophe like the holocaust would be a great accomplishment. Saving thousand, and thousands of lives would be worth it. I would also show sympathy, and love, and embrace the moment.

  2. I would just hug him. Sometimes when someone is sad, you can’t say anything to make them feel better, you just have to be there for them. Let them cry on you. Hold them. Just let them get it off their chest.

  3. You may think this is a little unusual but sometimes with guys all you have to do is ahake thir hand look at them and nod a look can say a thousand words and BTW I don’t have your number but I do have the book soo plz don’t take points off 😛

  4. I would also hug him. I would weep for him because, no man or child should have to go through that. They should not be responsible for keeping their dad alive in a concentration camp. I would just let him express himself, and his thoughts towards those dark, sinister days.

  5. I would embrace him, let him cry on my shoulder, allow him to get those thoughts off of his chest and let him confide in me. While he is crying on my shoulder I would offer him peaceful words that may help him or may not, but I would try and give him the love he needs.

  6. I would let him tell his story and let him tell about how he lost faith in that process. I’ll embrace him and hopefully find contradictions that would lead him in the right way.

  7. I would try to offer comfort in just being with him and listening. But in a moment of such vulnerability he isn’t asking for advice. But I don’t think he’s wanting pity is either. Just compassion, to give the love that Christ gives us to others. That’s what I would try to give someone so broken.

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