How was Moshe the Beadle of Night by Elie Wiesel different from the other Jews of Sighet?

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In Night by Elie Wiesel, Moshe the Beadle is the first character mentioned. He is a very poor man, and the people of the town of Sighet, for the most part, did not like the poor. The townspeople might help the poor, but they often did so grudgingly. Moshe, though, everyone loved, and nobody felt embarrassed about having him around. Moshe, physically, was described as being awkward.

"Physically he was as awkward as a clown. He made people smile with his waiflike timidity." (Wiesel 1)

Wiesel goes on to describe him as a man with large eyes that looked as though they were dreaming or lost in space. Moshe chanted, but he spoke rarely. He was also very smart and the only one who had studied Cabbala well enough to teach it. Finally, Moshe was a foreigner in the town of Sighet. Wiesel does not tell us where Moshe was originally from, but because of his foreign status, he is taken in the first shipment by the Nazis. He makes it back and tries to warn the Jews about what is going to happen to them, but nobody believes him. If they had listened to Moshe, many more of them might have survived.

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Moshe the Beadle is different for a couple of reasons.  Initially, he is physically different.  He looks physically different from the other people in Sighet.  He has a physical limp and looks "physically awkward."  As contrasted to the respect from others that Eliezer's father generates as a member of the community, Moshe does not command that level of respect, in part because of his physical presence.

Another reason Moshe is different is because of his spiritual dimension.  The members of Sighet, like Eliezer's father, are based in commerce.  They focus on the economic aspects of existence.  Moshe is different because he has committed himself to the exploration of the spiritual.  He is a mystic who takes the relationship with God extremely seriously.  When he tells Eliezer that he wishes only to ask God "the questions," it is a moment in which Moshe shows his differences.  Moshe is different in that his relationship with God is one that is profound enough to address the questions of existence with answers coming secondary.

Finally, Moshe is different because he is the first in the narrative to speak of the Nazi atrocities.  When he describes hiding under a stack of dead bodies, pretending to be dead, and articulates what it was like to see babies thrown in the air and used as target practice, Moshe's difference is illuminated.  Moshe is different because he sees the atrocities that will await all of those in Sighet.  The fact that Moshe is received with disdain and mockery reflects how his experiences make him fundamentally different than the other people of Sighet.

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