Who was Moishe the Beadle and what was his significance to Wiesel in Night?  

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Moishe the Beadle is a poor, immigrant Jew who lives in Elie's hometown of Sighet and is one of the first citizens to witness the Nazi atrocities in the Galician forest. Before Moishe the Beadle is transported from Sighet alongside other immigrant Jews, Elie develops a close relationship with him and Moishe teaches him the secrets of the Zohar and Jewish mysticism. One day, the Hungarian police, under Nazi orders, force Moishe the Beadle and the other foreign Jews living in Sighet into cattle cars and transport them to Galicia. In the Galician forest, Moishe witnesses SS officers brutally murder infants, men, and women. Fortunately, Moishe survives a firing squad, pretends to be dead, and is able to return back to Sighet with minor injuries. In Sighet, Moishe tells his tragic story and begs the citizens to evacuate the town before the Nazi soldiers arrive. Unfortunately, the citizens do not believe Moishe the Beadle and think that he is insane. A year later, the Nazi front advances and the Jewish citizens of Sighet are arrested and transported to concentration camps. Overall, Moishe the Beadle is depicted as a prophet and foreshadows the atrocities that Elie and the other Jewish citizens will experience during the Holocaust.

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Moshe the Beadle is a poor Jew who lives in the town of Sighet with Elie.  We are introduced to him in the beginning of Chapter One.  A scholar of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, Moshe teaches Elie about Jewish mystical texts as Elie works to improve his knowledge of Judaism.

Early on in the text, Moshe, a foreign born Jew, is deported out of the country.  Those left behind in Sighet assume that he has simply been returned to his home country.  In reality, he was transported to a concentration camp, but managed to escape along the way.  He returns to Sighet desperate to tell the townspeople of the horrendous things he has seen -- including the use of Jewish babies as "target practice" for German soldiers.  Unfortunately, the townspeople cannot fathom such horrors and assume that Moshe has had a mental breakdown.

Thus, Moshe the Beadle serves as both a teacher and a prophet for Elie.  In one role, he is revered; in the other, he is largely ignored.

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