Before any cruelty of the holocaust had occurred, Elie’s relationship with his religion was strong and his faith was incorruptible, but the concentration camps had irreparably shaken his beliefs from obeying his religion to questioning its conviction.
Before the holocaust had initiated, Elie was devoted to his religion and faith. When Elie was asked with the question of why he prayed by Moishe the Beadle, he indefinitely replied with, “Why did I live?” and “Why did I breathe?”(4). Elie is baffled by the fact that his religion had been embodied within him. His religion had become second nature to him because he could not imagine a time where he didn’t believe in it. Moreover, Elie had put all of his efforts into further examining the fundamentals of his religion. He “continued to devote” himself to his studies of “Talmud during the day and Kabbalah at night.”(8). Because he is following all of the practices of his religion and learning the secrets of Jewish mysticism, Elie is becoming more abiding to his faith. He is becoming more definitive of his devotion to his Jewish beliefs and understands that learning more would help him become apart of something greater. As a result, Elie’s dedication to his religion had been a bond that was inseparable before the holocaust had occurred, in which creates his obedience toward his religion.
Additionally, Elie begins to learn the Holocaust’s horrors that it has brought upon society and his religion’s demeanor during the times of crisis. In the heat of the moment, when it felt like all was lost, Elie shouted, “But look at these men whom you have betrayed, allowing them to be tortured, slaughtered, gassed, and burned.”(68). Elie is becoming resentful of his religion because he doesn’t understand the logic of it. He is doubting whether there is God or not because he is allowing the bloodshed of innocents that pray before him without reason. Consequently, this leads to Elie doubting the existence of the idol that he had admired. During his time in Auschwitz, Elie had muttered, “And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed.”(91). Elie no longer believes in God because of the horrible sights that he has seen. He had lost all hope and speculated that a prayer would be enough to get Elie out of this mayhem. After experiencing many unforeseeable sights and hardships, Elie had questioned his beliefs and had lost his faith in his religion.
Even if all may seem lost, people should not lose faith in all matters they have believed in because the future still remains.