A Beggar in Jerusalem

by Elie Wiesel

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Summary

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

A Beggar in Jerusalem by Elie Wiesel looks at the impact of the Six-Day War. The book is narrated by David, who reveals the challenges that the Jewish survivors experienced. David visits Jerusalem after the war. When he reaches the Western Wall, he finds madmen and vagrants. They encourage him to confront his past and connect it to the present. Therefore, Wiesel constantly shifts between the past and present when telling the story, primarily focusing on Jerusalem. The narrator explains the significance of the Old City to the Jewish people. The story focuses on the Jewish people and their experiences post-World War II.

David gives descriptions of the battle scenes during the Six-Day War. The narrator describes how he went to battle with the united Arab armies. He constantly thought about his death and wished that he could die because he believed that God had forsaken the Jewish people during the Holocaust. Israel won the Six-Day War, which was followed by celebrations by the Jewish people.

Before the fighting began, David had a friend, Katriel. They had agreed that if one of them came back from the war, he would tell the story of the other person and what happened. To honor his friend, David also tells the story of Katriel.

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