As a teenager, Elie was a "deeply observant" Jew who wanted to go deeper into Jewish mystic traditions than did his parents and most of the other Jews in Elie's home village of Sighet. Moishe the Beadle, however, recognized the yearning of Elie's heart and agreed to help him delve into the Kabbalah tradition. Moishe explained that only Elie could find the answers he sought, because the answers to his questions resided within his own soul.
Man comes closer to God through the question he asks him...But we don't understand His replies. We cannot understand them. Because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die. The real answers, Eliezer, you will find only within yourself.
Elie came to believe that Moishe would be able to help him understand, to find "that time when question and answer would become ONE."
With the first expulsion of foreign Jews from Sighet, however, Moishe was gone. When he escaped from the concentration camp and returned to Sighet, he tried to warn the others about the horrors he had witnessed, but no one believed him. Elie and his family, along with most of the Jews of Sighet, must endure the questions without answers raised by the Holocaust.