At this juncture in his inclusion into the concentration camp at Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel is contemplating his faith and the implications of humanity (or lack thereof) in light of what is happening there. On page 31, Wiesel says, "For the first time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for?"
However, his faith is so deeply ingrained within him that he prays at moments when he is not consciously intending to pray. When the group is undergoing standard entry procedures, they are told to give up any personal valuables, and eventually the Kapos get specific and start taking shoes that are new. Anyone found to have new shoes was severely beaten until their shoes were given or taken by force. However, Elie was fortunate that his brand new shoes were caked in mud. Because of the mud, the Kapos did not notice his new shoes. For this, Elie was grateful to God for having created mud, which allowed him to keep his shoes.