In Night, by Elie Wiesel, why does Wiesel cry when he prays?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In Elie Wiesel's Night, Elie cries whenever he prays. One day Moshe the Beadle, who is Elie's self appointed cabbala (Jewish mysticism) master, asks Elie why he weeps when he prays. Elie tells Moshe that he does not know the answer to the question.

"'Why do you weep when you pray?' he asked me, as though he had known me a long time.

"'I don't know why,' I answered, greatly disturbed.

The question had never entered my head. I wept because--because of something inside me that felt the need for tears. That was all I knew." (Wiesel 2)

Perhaps Elie wept because he was so moved by the prayers he said. Perhaps he felt he was truly communicating with the God he loved so much. Or perhaps his weeping was foreshadowing the time in the not so distant future when he would lose his belief in God. Maybe he was already mourning the loss of his faith even before he lost it.

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