The rising action is everything after the exposition in a narrative up to its climax. If we accept that the climax of The Devil's Arithmetic is when Hannah, or Chaya, takes Rivka's place and dies, then these might be some incidents that take place as part of the rising action.
- Hannah is transported mysteriously back in time to a small village near Lublin, Poland, in the early 1940s.
- Hannah, who is called Chaya here in Poland, travels on foot with the members of her "family" and other villagers to Viosk, where her Uncle Shmuel is going to get married.
- The villagers arrive at Viosk, only to find that the Nazis are there. The Nazis announce that all Jews are being relocated, and that the Jewish residents of Viosk have already been taken.
- The members of the wedding party are loaded into trucks, and taken to a railroad station, where their valuables are forcefully taken. They are loaded into crowded boxcars with no amenities, and are forced to travel for four days and nights under inhuman conditions.
- Hannah and her fellow villagers arrive at their destination, the concentration camp Auschwitz.
- Hannah meets Rivka, who teaches her how to survive in the camp.
- Some of the prisoners try to organize an escape, which is for the most part a failure. Shmuel is executed along with other ringleaders of the plot, and his bride-to-be, Fayge, dies with him after throwing herself at his feet in front of the firing squad.
- Hannah, Rivka, and other young prisoners are caught neglecting their work for a few minutes, as Hannah tells them stories to lift their spirits. Rivka and two of the others are chosen to die as a punishment.