The Beatles, one of them, maybe

I’ve been stuck on Moishe the Beadle for some time now, ever since reading Elie Wiesel’s night. Here is a character that comes into the story at the beginning, appears headed for an important role in the story, and then disappears, never to really be seen again once he leaves for the second time. Wiesel’s night is filled with characters who are intimately involved in his development as a person, and a number of actors who affect his relationship with God, himself and his father. Moishe though seems to be a foil for Eliezer’s father. When the relationship between Elie and his father is weak, Eliezer turns to Moishe and looks for the support and love that he craves. Moishe returns that love and interest, and even offers to work with Eliezer to understand the holy writ that his Father doesn’t want Eliezer to touch. Moishe is offering himself up as a proxy to that father that Eliezer so desperately desires as a fifteen year old boy. Once the relationship with his Dad strengthens, Eliezer no longer has a need to continue his understanding thoughts and insights that Moishe offers. Here is where they diverge, when Moishe is fully aware of the doom that is to come to Eliezer he leaves, whereas the cold and understanding father stays with Eliezer throughout. Part of him staying may have been because he had no escape, but in contrast to Moise the Beadle, when the father finally leaves the picture for good, it is the end of Eliezer, it is the end of his story. Moishe seems to be just a contrasting relationship with the relationship that Eliezer has with his father. It is this contrast that gives the newly developed father relationship so much life, and so much purpose. Moishe is a surface relationship, and Eliezer seeks a deeper one, and finds it, with his father.

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