Night Emily Koenck
Elie Wiesel Comp II
Hill & Wang edition published September 1960
“One evening I told him unhappy I was because I could not find a master in Sighet to instruct me in the Zohar, the cabbalistic books, the secrets of Jewish mysticism. He smiled indulgently. After a long silence, he said: ‘There are a thousand and one gates leading into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own the orchard by any gate but our own. To do this is dangerous for the one who enters and also for those who are already there.’ ”
Eliezer, a twelve year old boy, is the only son in a Orthodox Jewish family that strictly believes in Jewish tradition and law. His parents are shopkeepers and they are well respected in their Jewish community. Eliezer and his family live in a town in Transylvania named Sighet. Throughout the first part of the book, Eliezer is studying the Talmud, which is the Jewish oral law. He was also studying the mystical texts of the Cabbala.
Eliezer doesn’t like to think about the cruelty of what some humans can be capable of. The Jews don’t like to think of Hitler’s death camps, because they could easily in a blink of an eye end up there. They were terrified. Eliezer asks his father if they can move to Palestine and escape. His father doesn’t want to leave Sighet. The Nazis begin to deport the Jews and Eliezer and his family were the last to leave Sighet. Eliezer is the only one in the family that still goes by strictly what the Jewish heritage says. Eliezer and his family watch to all the people crowd to the hot streets while all they can carry is whatever they can fit into their small backpacks. They all load into large cattle cars and start bringing them to Auschwitz.
While reading this book, it has made me overwhelmed to read something that was so cruel. Concentration camps were an awful thing that the Germans did to the Jews, the Jews would go day by day never knowing if they were going to live or die. The Germans would do awful stunts to the Jews, for example, they would shove the Jews into a shower room, but the Jews would never know if they would take a shower or be gassed to death. The living conditions at the camp were awful, there would hardly be room for anyone to sleep.
I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the book. I am already really interested in this subject. Currently in another class, we are learning about the Holocaust. The whole situation really opens my eyes to how awful it was for the Jews and what they all had to go through. I am looking forward to learning more about this subject to educate myself more on what they had to go through day by day.