Elie Wiesel's Night

Vocabulary study list for Elie Wiesel's "Night"
definitions & notes only words
  1. Shavuot
    (Judaism) Jewish holy day celebrated on the sixth of Sivan to celebrate Moses receiving the Ten Commandments
    On the Saturday before Pentecost ( Shavuot), in the spring sunshine, people strolled, carefree and unheeding, through the swarming streets.
  2. social assistance
    benefits paid to bring incomes up to minimum levels established by law
    A little Jewish republic...We appointed a Jewish Council, a Jewish police, an office for social assistance, a labor committee, a hygiene department-a whole government machinery.
  3. prearrange
    arrange beforehand
    Everything was
    in order, according to the prearranged plan.
  4. Wiesel
    United States writer (born in Romania) who survived Nazi concentration camps and is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust (born in 1928)
    I had forgotten about my bad foot
    [Note: Wiesel had recently had an infection on the sole of his foot drained].
  5. ghetto
    a poor densely populated city district
    Elie Wiesel



    from Night



    Two ghettos were set up in Sighet.
  6. sheepdog
    any of various usually long-haired breeds of dog reared to herd and guard sheep
    Hundreds of armed SS men rose up out of the darkness,
    accompanied by sheepdogs.
  7. Elie Wiesel
    United States writer (born in Romania) who survived Nazi concentration camps and is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust (born in 1928)
    Elie Wiesel



    from Night



    Two ghettos were set up in Sighet.
  8. crematory
    a furnace where a corpse can be burned and reduced to ashes
    “And sent to
    the crematory in a final batch.”
  9. death knell
    a bell rung to announce a death
    The death knell.
  10. block
    obstruct
    At four o’clock in the afternoon of the same day, as usual the bell summoned all
    the heads of the blocks to go and report.
  11. monochrome
    having or appearing to have only one color
    The day was disappearing in
    a monochrome of gray.
  12. Gestapo
    the secret state police in Nazi Germany
    “This afternoon I noticed some new faces in the ghetto-two German officers, from the Gestapo, I believe.
  13. good story
    an account of an amusing incident
    He was a good story teller.
  14. evacuation
    the act of leaving a dangerous place in an orderly fashion
    They could only just open their lips enough to say the
    word: evacuation.
  15. flying visit
    a visit that last for only a very short time
    A few people had paid a flying visit to their homes to see that everything was all right.
  16. faceless
    without a face or identity
    “All of the invalids will be summarily killed,” said the faceless one.
  17. evacuate
    move out of an unsafe location into safety
    They will not be evacuated.”
  18. liberate
    grant freedom to; free from confinement
    They were quite simply liberated by the Russians two days after the evacuation.
  19. social welfare
    governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need
    How avid we were at that moment for one word of confidence, one sentence to say that there were no grounds for fear, that the meeting could not have been more commonplace, more routine, that it had only been a question of social welfare, of sanitary arrangements!
  20. operating room
    a room in a hospital equipped for the performance of surgical operations
    The back yard became like the hall outside an operating room.
  21. carefree
    free of trouble and worry and care
    On the Saturday before Pentecost (Shavuot), in the spring sunshine, people strolled, carefree and unheeding, through the swarming streets.
  22. expounding
    a systematic interpretation or explanation (usually written) of a specific topic
    My father was telling them anecdotes and expounding his own views of the situation.
  23. unheeding
    marked by or paying little heed or attention
    On the Saturday before Pentecost (Shavuot), in the spring sunshine, people strolled, carefree and unheeding, through the swarming streets.
  24. malik
    the leader of a town or community in some parts of Asia Minor and the Indian subcontinent
    With some of my schoolmates, I sat in the Ezra Malik gardens, studying a treatise on the Talmud.
  25. Pentecost
    seventh Sunday after Easter
    On the Saturday before Pentecost (Shavuot), in the spring sunshine, people strolled, carefree and unheeding, through the swarming streets.
  26. infirmary
    a health facility where patients receive treatment
    Patients will stay in the infirmary.
  27. Talmud
    the collection of ancient rabbinic writings on Jewish law and tradition (the Mishna and the Gemara) that constitute the basis of religious authority in Orthodox Judaism
    With some of my schoolmates, I sat in the Ezra Malik gardens, studying a treatise on the Talmud.
  28. fifty-six
    being six more than fifty
    We had to wait for the departure of
    the fifty-six blocks who came before us.
  29. deportation
    the act of expelling a person from their native land
    “ Deportation.”
  30. avid
    marked by active interest and enthusiasm
    How avid we were at that moment for one word of confidence, one sentence to say that there were no grounds for fear, that the meeting could not have been more commonplace, more routine, that it had only been a question of social welfare, of sanitary arrangements!
  31. self-contained
    constituting a complete and independent unit in and of itself
    We even thought ourselves rather well off; we were entirely self-contained.
  32. premonition
    an early warning about a future event
    “I’ve got a premonition of evil,” said my mother.
  33. mined
    extracted from a source of supply as of minerals from the earth
    “The camp is certain to be mined,” said another.
  34. knell
    the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death
    The death knell.
  35. schoolmate
    an acquaintance that you go to school with
    With some of my schoolmates, I sat in the Ezra Malik gardens, studying a treatise on the Talmud.
  36. block up
    render unsuitable for passage
    But as it was at the corner, the windows facing the outside street had to be blocked up.
  37. barbed wire
    strong wire with barbs at regular intervals used to prevent passage
    The barbed wire which fenced us in did not cause us any real fear.
  38. side street
    a street intersecting a main street and terminating there
    A large one, in the center of the town, occupied four streets, and another smaller one extended over several small side streets in the outlying district.
  39. Jewish
    of or relating to Jews or their culture or religion
    A little Jewish republic...We appointed a Jewish Council, a Jewish police, an office for social assistance, a labor committee, a hygiene department-a whole government machinery.
  40. summarily
    without delay; in a summary manner
    “All of the invalids will be summarily killed,” said the faceless one.
  41. dregs
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    The news had stunned everyone, yet we wanted to drain the bitter draft to the dregs.
  42. dreg
    a small amount of residue
    The news had stunned everyone, yet we wanted to drain the bitter draft to the dregs.
  43. liberator
    someone who releases people from captivity or bondage
    Were the SS going to leave hundreds of prisoners to
    strut about in the hospital blocks, waiting for their liberators?
  44. searchlight
    a light source with reflectors that projects a beam of light in a particular direction
    The searchlights came on.
  45. relentlessly
    in a relentless manner
    It snowed relentlessly.
  46. Ezra
    a Jewish priest and scribe sent by the Persian king to restore Jewish law and worship in Jerusalem
    With some of my schoolmates, I sat in the Ezra Malik gardens, studying a treatise on the Talmud.
  47. barbed
    having or covered with protective quills, spines, or thorns
    The barbed wire which fenced us in did not cause us any real fear.
  48. firmament
    the sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected
    We were only waiting for the door to open - to see the opening of the firmament itself.
  49. treatise
    a formal exposition
    With some of my schoolmates, I sat in the Ezra Malik gardens, studying a treatise on the Talmud.
  50. anecdote
    short account of an incident
    My father was telling them anecdotes and expounding his own views of the situation.
  51. pavement
    the paved surface of a thoroughfare
    The children played games on the pavements.
  52. Hungary
    a republic in central Europe
    “There are rumors going around,” said my father in a broken voice, “that we’re going somewhere in Hungary, to work in the brick factories.