The Breaking Point: Intimate Relations with an Unresponsive God

College
Essay
Miscellaneous
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Download 0
If ever an event tested the faith of the Jewish people, a group persecuted throughout thousands of years of history, it would be the Holocaust, in which millions of men, women, and children were incarcerated in death camps throughout German-occupied Europe…

Introduction

For observant European Jews, "the relationship to God was social, intimate, critical" (Howe & Greenberg 9). In other words, religious Jews spoke to God on a personal, one-on-one level, praising and worshipping, but also questioning and complaining. In "Yom Kippur: The Day Without Forgiveness," by Elie Wiesel, this personal relationship with their god, absent in some religions, allows religious Jews to maintain their belief even when there is no evidence that their god is watching.
As the story opens, the characters of Pinhas and the narrator (the young Wiesel) toil in Auschwitz on the day before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Death is all around them, closing in quickly on the middle-aged Pinhas. The narrator reports "I knew that his body would not hold out much longer. His strength was already abandoning him, his movements were becoming more heavy, more chaotic. No doubt he knew it too." (Wiesel 265). As they speak, the narrator experiences "the weird sensation that I was digging a grave. For whom For Pinhas For myself Perhaps for our memories" (Wiesel 266). Yet, in the face of these circumstances, the characters' thoughts are on religion and "death figured only rarely in our conversations" (Wiesel 265). Pinhas is more concerned with the implications of the Yom Kippur fast.
He informs the narrator that he has decided not to observe the fast, not because food is a rarity in the camp, or because he is already dead inside, ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

view point
It is often seen that individual difference could lead to two people having totally opposing views to a similar topic.…
Delineating Trends in Intimate Relationships
He found people use differing social tactics to persuade their partners and that certain tactics tend to be more or less effective based on the social context. To what extent is the accuracy of one's ability to assess their partner's mindset correlated with how well they influence by their partner To what extent is the accuracy of one's ability to assess their partner's mindset correlated with how…
Finding God Seeking the Truth
Let me elaborate my understandings by touching on the point that God wanted to establish personal relations with his special creation, the humans. The Genesis clearly manifests how a loving God created all things. But whether the detail of such creation is clearly portrayed or not in the texts doesn't matter. What matters is the reason why man was created in His likeness. He made us special…
Breaking the Language Barrier
Everyone has their own reasons for learning a foreign language, but necessity may be the mother of motivation. Immigrants who are thrust into a job or school where they are forced to communicate can usually pick up the language fairly quickly. A hungry worker can soon learn to pronounce hamburger in anyone's native tongue. Students learn quickly be conversing with their friends. Immersing yourself…
Intimate Partner Violence
It occurs on a continuum, ranging from one hit that may or may not impact the victim to chronic, severe battering. Victims of domestic violence who are overwhelmingly women, are at high risk for mental problems (Intimate partner violence: Intervention in primary health settings by Carlson and McNutt, 1998). There are four main types of intimate partner violence (Intimate partner violence…
Family and intimate relationships
Many theories contend that the family is an institution which provides a sanctuary and safe haven for its members (consensus theory). However, in opposition to this view is the conflict theory that contends that the family functions to serve the overarching state, and so is a place of potential risk for its members.…
The Breaking Point: Intimate Relations with an Unresponsive God
For observant European Jews, "the relationship to God was social, intimate, critical" (Howe & Greenberg 9). In other words, religious Jews spoke to God on a personal, one-on-one level, praising and worshipping, but also questioning and complaining. In "Yom Kippur: The Day Without Forgiveness," by Elie Wiesel, this personal relationship with their god, absent in some religions, allows religious…