Who Moshe the Beadle is, and why does Wiesel begin the story with him?

Moshe the Beadle is a Jewish man from a poor background who works at a synagogue in Sighet. He teaches the Kabbalah and helps with various tasks, but he is eventually expelled from the town for being an immigrant. Moshe is captured by the German army and taken to a concentration camp, where he witnesses the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand. He manages to escape and returns to Sighet to warn the Jewish community of the impending danger, but he is dismissed as delusional.

Despite Moshe’s warnings, the people of Sighet remain ignorant of the persecution of Jewish people during World War II. Moshe’s experiences allow author Elie Wiesel to depict the oppression and suffering of Jewish people during the war. Moshe’s teachings of the Kabbalah also play an important role in Wiesel’s exploration of Judaism, as Moshe’s conversations with Wiesel help him approach his experiences during the war from a spiritual and philosophical perspective.

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Moshe’s character is also significant as he serves as a source of exposition for the readers. Through his experiences, Wiesel is able to show the reader the brutality and inhumanity of the Holocaust. Moshe’s escape from the concentration camp and return to Sighet to warn others also emphasizes the importance of hope and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Furthermore, Moshe’s character represents the thousands of Jewish people who were silenced and ignored during the Holocaust. The people of Sighet’s dismissal of Moshe’s warnings highlights the apathy and denial that allowed the Holocaust to happen. Moshe’s character serves as a reminder to never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust and to always stand up against oppression and injustice.

Overall, Moshe the Beadle is a crucial character in Night, as his experiences, teachings, and character serve to deepen the reader’s understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on Jewish people. Moshe’s warnings, despite being ignored, provide a powerful message of hope and perseverance in the face of unimaginable suffering.


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