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who's to blame?
WIll anyone respond? Signs point to "no."
Michael and Tito
Hi Gal A.
Forum Number Four
Elie goes against G-d.
What do I have to say
hello mr. man
naomi, nomi and sara
-The holidays in the camps
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This reminds me of an argument I've herd on sunday between two conservative friends of mine. There was a terrorist attack that killed two people during Kiddush on a sabath. My friend asked " what kind of G-D does that to people who beleive in him." could they have celabrated the holidays? I turned to my grandmother for the answer. she told me that the best revenge for the nazi's was for them to keep it together, and remain faithfull to the religion. But it's hard. It's hard to thank G-d when you suffer so greatly. And the worst stage, Is when you don't care. Just by accusing G-d, Eli show's that he still beleives in him. As the Saying goes "you need to love in order to hate." I can't blame Eli, he was a young boy, just a boy, who has proven to be brave during the whole time.
Elie's rebellion against God is justified because God did nothing to help the Jews during the Holocaust. Would you believe in a God who was silent during a time of need? Of course not. Case closed, the fat lady has sung. There is no God (at least not during the Holocaust).
Dear Gal, We would really like to get to know you. Even though this projet is based on Night, we still would like to get to know you on a more personal level. What do you like to do? What music do you like? What are your favorite television shows? Movies? Books? anything! Your ever writing Becca, Leah and Aliza
Hey everybody! I think that this topic is very interesting and important because you can learn a lot about the affect of the camps on the Jews, especially of something like the holidays, that in any religion, and especially Judaism, are a sacred thing and without them there is a big part missing in the Jewish identity. Now to the question about the ability of the Jews to celebrate Rosh Hashanah& Yom Kippur at the camps. I personally think that u can always celebrate anything you want; nobody can take this from you, but the real question is if they wanted to celebrate. The fact that although the Nazis did all they could to destroy the spirit of the Jews and their bodies, their were some who still celebrated the holidays and I think that this fact showed us that their was people who hadn�t lost their faith in G-d. I think that Eli questioned this ability because he felt anger toward G-d for not helping them, especially at this time of holidays. It�s important to say that I don�t think that Eli stopped believing in G-d, he was just angry with him, and with the fact that there is no redemption.
A few chapters before the end of the book, Yom Kipur is described in the concentration camp. Elie did not fast because of his father's order not to. He saw the other Jewish residents of the camp praying and begging for G-d to forgive them, and was angry with them. He was also angry at G-d for not receiving their prayers. I personally, can't disagree with him for being angry at G-d. I can imagine how hard it was, for a little boy like Elie to keep his faith in G-d, during the staying at such a horrible place as the concentration camp. He probably felt anger at G-d for keeping silent while the Nazis commited their terrible acts. I assume it was especially hard for him since he recognized G-d as the most superior, powerful form there is. The "savior". Yet, I disagree with his anger at the other Jewish residents of the camp. Elie handled the situation one way. People have different ways of reacting to a certain situation, and Elie should have understood that. The handling of a certain situation is very private and personal. I think it's to bad that he preferred to be angry with them, at a time when they all have to stick together to survive.
Hey Noa, I agree with your statement "He probably felt anger at G-d for keeping silent while the Nazis commited their terrible acts." If I was in his place during the Holocause I would also wonder where G-D is. I will write another letter later. THe bEll rang
Sorry for not responding last time, I ran out of time and didn't get to right you later because I was really sick with srept throat. I just got better. About the book, I also agree that different people had different ways of deeling with the situation. I just wrote a paper about that. I think that in order to survive, one must create a method. Eli's method was to adapt to the situation and stop believing in God and stop having basic feelings. Other's methods were one's of resisstance. To answer your questions: Got 100 on the math test. Nothing to do about the situation here, nothing to worry about. I care much more about Israel were the threat is obvious. Got to go.
As Elie accuses G-D I asked myself two questions to look into this, to see it better. Was Elie the only one to accuse G-D? He probably isn't the only "smart" and "intelligent" one who has the sense to seek out the meaning of what he is saying and to question it, and if G-D deserves all these prayers. If there were other people who felt this way, and Elie isn't so unique, than why didn't anybody speak this out loud? Are all if the "smart" people that thought so, silent like Elie? So I don't think many people thought like him, I don't think so many people went as far as too accuse G-D, and replace roles. No, I think there was something else in Elie, something that made him different than most people, what was that (here comes the second question)? Elie was some sort of mystique, as one who wished so dearly to learn the "Kabala", Elie seems to be the one to accuse G-D, and still have the strength to believe in him, to understand (in his mind) that the all mighty has done wrong, and yet still believe that he exists, still believe there is a G-D left to accuse. Elie has proven himself much stronger than most of humanity, one who was able to accept these two contradictions in G-D's figure. Does that give him the right not to fast? I guess it does, especially if he felt bad just because he ate and not the other way around (feeling bad because he didn�t eat) knowing that G-D is there.
I think that it was god that they celebrated Rosh Hashana, because Rosh hashana symbolizes the beginning of a new year and a fresh start to the people lives. I assume that, celebrating Rosh hashana could keep them going, and hot make them losing their hope. Regarding Yom Kipur, I think that they shouldn�t have celebrated it, because the tortured they suffered in the camps was terrible and dreadful enough. Fasting shouldn�t even have been an option, for the reason that the Jews were miserable enough and didn�t have enough food, like a normal person, and also fasting could harm them physically. Regarding Elie�s act of accusing G_d for turning his back on the Jews and not helping them when they needed them the most, I think that this act is irrational and foolish, because even when Elie ate that day, he felt really bad about it. He realized that he was angry with himself not with G_d.
Once the Jews were thrown into the concentration camp their entire world changed. They could not do what they wanted to do any longer, could not do it when they wanted to, they could only do what the Nazis told them to do, when the Nazis wanted them to do it and how they wanted them to do it. The Jews in the concentration camp could not celebrate their holidays like they always had, they had to hide their celebration and it had to be very minimal, humble and quiet so the Nazis won�t catch them and punish them. Elie�s choice not to fast on Yom Kippur was the right choice in my opinion, because as a Jew in a concentration he lived from day to day, he could never know if on the next day he would get food or not. Elie�s choice not to fast was also affected by the fact that Elie�s belief in G-d was decreasing on each and every day he was spending in the concentration camp. Elie felt like G-d had abandoned him and all of the other Jews and he was losing his faith in G-d. The Nazis� purpose was not only to annihilate all the Jews, it was also to annihilate the entire Jewish religion, faith and beliefs. Therefore, the Nazis would never let the Jews to celebrate their holidays for the reason that if they were let to do so it would have been of an assistance for them to live through all the horrible things that they were being put through in the camps and the Nazis did not want a thing as such to occur, they wanted to break the Jews� spirits and murder their soul before they actually slaughtered them.
In the camps Elie started to criticize G-d. Elie just couldn�t understand how G-d could be silent while his believers were being slaughtered and how other people could still keep G-d commandments after they had seen that he didn�t do anything for them ever since the war broke out, G-d is silent and they are crying to him for help. Elie is the only one who isn�t blinded with faith, Elie eats at Yom Kippur to stay healthy while other people fasted. Although he didn�t fast and didn�t follow G-d commandments Elie still believed in G-d ways.
Well if you ask me I think that no one could celebrate anything in the camps. The one thing worth celebrating was the fact they were standing and thinking about it, instead of being dead. Celebrating Rosh Hashanah seems to me a good idea, in that way they could show that the Germans have not totally conquered them, their traditions and Holidays were still remembered and even in the worst conditions, in a living hell, they could celebrate and praise G_d, �we should show G_d that even here in this enclosed hell, we were capable of singing His praises� (page 66). On the other hand fasting on Yom Kippur seems to me much worse. Fasting could most probably mean death, by dying they would lose to the Nazis, and that would accomplish nothing. The meaning of not celebrating one of the Jewish more important holidays is tremendous on someone as religious as Elie. This is one of the things that remind him of his losses, his changes and the boy he used to be. This hole, this �void� turns into desperation. The desperation turns into anger; it seems that the only one he could point his finger at was G_d himself. All comes out in a big blow in which he becomes the accuser and G_d the accused.
Very interesting. I enjoy your thoughts. They bring a new light to the book. Do you have a screen name for instant messenger? If you do then it would be cool to talk to you on the internet. Nomi's is: Nomz Naomi's is: nomsey516 Sara's is: STMK1 shalom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this is a very important part in the book. This is probably what every single Jew that was in Elie's position would have done. Elie starts to wonder that if there is this Gd almighty than where the heck is He.This is the same Gd that went all around the world to look for people that would agree to accept his Torah. He finally found a people and that was us, the Jews.So if we agreed to accept his Torah and to live by his ways than why doesn't He save them.Why doesn't He come down with all His great powers and kill the Nazis and free His beloved people. This is still one of the biggest questions in Jewish history even for the biggest Rabbis.Its even bigger for a fifteen year old boy.Its very sad that a 15 year old religious boy that went to synagogue and prayed regurlaly starts or even has lost his faith.If thats the case than there must be a million other religious or even non religious Jewish Kids that have lost their faith and if you don't have faith you don't have anything.Faith was the one thing that the Nazi's couldn't take away from them and now they don't even have that.When Elie starts losing faith I think that he actually starts giving up.He doesn't care what happens to him anymore, he's had ENOUGH. He shows that by not fasting and giving up everything that he believes in. He starts accusing G-d of forsaking them and for allowing the crematories to operate.
I think the Jews should had celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah symbolizes hope for a better year. The Jews needed that kind of hope, in their harsh and terrible lives in the camps. They needed to believe in G-d, because he was the only one who could help them. Therefore, they should celebrate (and they did). Elie didn�t want to fast, because he became the accuser, and G-d the accused. He blamed G-d for not helping them, and turning away from them. Therefore, he decided not to fast. It was an act of protest against G-d. But, when Elie ate that day, he felt really bad about not fasting. ("In the depths of my heart, I felt a great void"). Maybe he felt this way, because deep inside of him, he strongly belive in G-d. He knows that the fact that he is not fasting, is a serious sin, and he believes he is a siner.
Tamir, I dont think it matters whether the Jewish community as a whole observed Rosh ha Shannah. For those to whom religion was a boon, a becon of hope, it was a great idea. But people like Elie perhaps, it was not necessery for him to observe these mitzvot. It did not seem like Elie recieved any source of reason, or purpose from these actions. When Elie said that he felt a great void, perhaps it was not because he felt that he was a sinner, and a betrayer of god. It is possible that religion had been such an important part of his life for so long that when he finally let go of it, he had nothing to replace it. The space within him previoiusly occupied by religion now needed something new to fill it. He required something new to fill himself. As far as fasting is concerned, I dont think that it should have been observed as the people were starving, scrounging for what little food they could by any means necessery. It would be wrong to harm yourself, especially if like Elie, you were no longer moved by religion.
Some people celebrated the holidays in the camps. In spite of all the horrors they had witnessed, they still celebrated Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. They still blessed the name of G-d and said prayers for Him. Maybe celebrating the holidays gave them hope and symbolized what�s left of their humanity, and maybe they believed that if they obey G-d and keep praising Him despite their suffering, G-d will save them. Elie disagrees with them. He says, �Why, but why should I bless Him?�Because He had had thousands of children burned in His pits? Because He kept six crematories working night and day, on Sundays and feast days? Because in His great might He had created Auschwitz, Birkenaw, Buna and so many factories of death?� Elie blames G-d and doesn�t think He should be praised after the horrors he had witnessed. On Yom Kippur he doesn�t fast as a protest to G-d. Yet, when he ate on Yom Kippur he felt �a great void in him� because once Yom Kippur was a very important holiday to him, but now he didn�t fast. He changed, and he felt guilty for that.
During his stay in the camps Eli slowly started to develop a strong criticism for god. He just couldn't accept that God let all of this to happen. In page 64 his accusation toward god reaches to its peak: "�but why should I bless him? In every fiber I rebelled, because he had thousand of children burned in his pits, because he kept six crematories working night and day? Because in his great might he had created Auschwitz? �" Page 64). Eli's eyes were opened and now he becomes the accuser and G-d become the accused . But strangely enough he didn't feel weak or alone he felt more confident and reassured in himself ("stronger then the almighty" as Eli describe it( but why did he feel so strong? I think it's mainly because that he felt some sort of sudden realization, he felt that his eyes were finally open to the truth, that G-d cannot protect them anymore (The Jews) that now he has to help himself and stop being so dependent on others, all of those accusation and sudden realizations had actually strengthen Eli and, in some extent, helped him to survive later on� But even then Eli didn't completely lose his faith in G-d, he only became more aware and far less naïve about it. The true test and dilemma for Eli and the Jews came during the holidays, especially in Yom Kipur should they fast? This is indeed a difficult dilemma. One can look upon this dilemma in two different ways: While fasting they actually proving their loyalty to God, that even in the most hard and difficult times, they are still obeying his command and fasting. But more importantly by fasting they actually resist the Nazis (on the shorter term ) who tried to humiliate them by deliberately offering them a larger ration then usual exactly in Yom Kipur. But there are those who preferred not to fast and to eat they actually took advantage on the Nazis cruelty because by eating in Yom-Kipur they had perhaps looked pitiful and weak minded but on the long term they (those who chose to eat) will be the ones with the most chances to survive, and this is actually the best (and perhaps the only way for a Jew in a camp) way to resist the Nazis- by surviving their horror, by living on. All of this didn't prevent Eli from feeling guilty after he didn't fast, and I can't blame him, he was raised all his life to always follow God's "Mitzvoth" and laws, and now for the first time in his life he had a choice and he deliberately chose not to fast and that, I guess, made him feel very guilty .
I think that some Jews did celebrate, but in a humble way, and of course not in public. The last thing the Nazis wanted was that the Jews celebrate Jewish holidays and feel connected to G-d. Other Jews were so preoccupied with all the chaos and death around them that they hardly had any time for themselves to even think about something happy like celebrating holidays. Celebrating, I think could only do the Jews well and maybe bring them some comfort and joy. Regarding Yom Kippur, I think Elie's father was right to force him to eat (even though this wasn't exactly his reason) because it was as if the Jews were feasting everyday, and they were given so little food. They needed to eat whatever they got.
I think that it was for the best for them to celebrate the holidays. I was proud of them to find out that they celebrate it in spite of all they had been through. I expected them to show anything except the faith in G-d, because of the situation that they were in. I wasn�t surprised to see the doubt in Elie�s heart and I wasn�t surprised that he didn�t pray himself. But in my opinion, the fact that he was one of the people that gathered to pray shows that he still believed G-d is existence and that G-d would help them. This belief gave them hope to continue, made him want to survive and to stay alive. I think the Jews that prayed were very strong, because it took a lot of strength to uphold their belief after they saw all this horror and went through so much. I understood from Elie�s lines that it was hard to stay a believer, and even so they prayed. Even that it wasn�t the easiest way, but we know that they didn�t choose the easy way, because they fought and stayed alive. I admire their clung and the fact that they didn�t give up (nor the will to carry on and believe). This point shows how strong their belief was. How much they believed in G-d and that they thought the situation would be different. In my opinion, they prayed not only to praise G-d, most of them prayed that the situation would change.
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