Chapter one of Night provides an essential aspect to the memoir's poignancy because it uses such clear descriptions and images of Elie Wiesel's life before the Holocaust. Specifically, chapter one expounds on Elie's lack of relationship with his father, his deep faith, and his idyllic and hopeful community, all of which are drastically reversed in the subsequent chapters.
Elie Wiesel begins his famous memoir by describing a man who only appears in the first chapter: Moishe the Beadle. This man becomes a father figure to Elie. Elie's own father seems to have played little role in Elie's upbringing. One of the few things that Elie says in chapter one about his father is, "He rarely displayed his feelings, not even within his family, and was more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own family" (4). Meanwhile, Moishe encourages Elie to question and discuss his already-strong faith and serves as a caring example to the impressionable Elie.
Both of these relationships that Elie has (with his father and with Moishe the Beadle) change completely throughout the memoir. While Moishe doesn't play any more role in Elie's life once Elie and his family are deported, Elie and his father form a strong bond as they struggle to survive in the concentration camps.
The surrounding culture of Elie's Jewish community is also given much description in chapter one. Their hopeful optimism is what Elie chooses to highlight about this group. He claims, "The Germans were already in our town...the verdict was already out- and the Jews of Sighet were still smiling" (10). Here, the multiple references to disbelief on the part of the Jews makes the reader further sympathize with the tragedy that the Jews are about to encounter.