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Moché the Beadle
A poor, humble man who works at the Hasidic synagogue in Sighet, Moché is well-liked by all the townspeople. He helps Eliezer to study the cabbala, and he teaches him that it is more important to ask God the right questions than to try to find the right answers. Early in the war, Moché is deported to Nazi concentration camps because he is a foreigner. He manages to escape and tries to warn the townspeople of the horrors of the Holocaust. They ignore him and think he's mad.
I believe Wiesel starts with the story of Moche because his story is one of warning. A warning that no one took heed to because they didn't believe the atrocities they were warned of were possible.