Discussion Questions for Wednesday, 11/18
Elie Wiesel, Night, pp. 66-115 (new edition), 63-109 (old edition)
1)What are some of the social aspects of the journey to and life in the concentration camps among the Jews who were detained and/or killed? How does the community function? How do they survive? Do things change by the end of the book?
2) In this section of the book Wiesel observes two different encounters between fathers and sons. (new: 91, 101-102; old: 87, 96) What are they and how do they affect his own relationship to his own father?
3)How do the faith of Wiesel and the people around him continue to be affected in this section of the book? Point to some specific examples from the text. Ultimately, do you think he has lost his faith? Has he given up on a relationship with God? Why or why not?
4)How do you think the “covenant” based aspects of Judaism affected the experiences of Jews in the camps? Consider the following statement from Wiesel’s neighbor in the infirmary: “I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.” (new: 81; old: 77)
5) In your opinion, is there a theodicy that adequately addresses tragedies on the scale of the Holocaust, or do such events suggest that God does not exist? Why or why not?