In Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, chapter one details the relationship between Elie and Moshe the Beadle. Described as a wise vagrant, Moshe is a foreigner in Sighet, making him slightly suspicious to the rest of the Jewish community. Elie, however, considers him a harmless and even wise man.
Elie and Moshe first meet in 1941, when Elie is just thirteen years old. While praying at the synagogue, Moshe asks Elie why he cries when he prays. The conversation begins their relationship as student and teacher. Moshes becomes Elie’s tutor, instructing him in the ways of Jewish mysticism. Elie believes that learning the Kabbalah will answer his questions about God and reality.
In 1942 Moshe and the rest of Sighet’s foreign Jews are deported. Elie is upset, but quickly moves on. It comes as a complete surprise to Elie that Moshe returns after a few months. Moshe tells his story about nearly dying at the hands of the Nazis, but no one, not even Elie, believes him. Elie pities Moshe, believing with the rest of the Jewish community that Moshe’s warnings are the ramblings of a madman.