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.