Asher Lev Essays

The author certainly gets his point across in these moments, but in a less subtle way than I would have liked.My last complaint entails a few spoilers: towards the end of the book, while a grown-up Asher is working in Paris, Potok introduces a new character (we never learn her name) with whom Asher falls in love.

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In the play, no artistically sensitive person can look at one of Asher’s images without being stunned into breathlessness by its beauty.

The youngest artist ever to be exhibited in a major Manhattan gallery, Asher receives a rave review in the , the show sells out, and his works command staggering prices.

Either way, I’m not sure if the introduction of that character was really necessary. Anyone trying to read this book who isn’t familiar with Jewish culture, customs, etc. While it doesn’t cover all of the Hebrew and Yiddish terms used in the book, it is the most comprehensive list I’ve found yet.

Its imperfections, though, still can’t diminish the power that this book has.

After a master artist takes the boy under his wing, Asher must decide whether to pursue what he believes to be true or to let his people define truth for him.

To begin with, this is a beautiful novel, on many levels.

As the descendant of many celebrated Hasidic teachers, Asher is expected to follow in their footsteps and devote his life to the service of a spiritual leader known as the Rebbe.

Instead, he spends his time studying and creating things he has been taught to deplore.

Later, Asher’s mother Rivkeh informs him that if he wants to marry the girl, he has his parents’ blessing to do so. What might have turned into a subplot goes nowhere.

I can’t think of a reason why the author might have introduced that character, unless it was either to hint that Asher might have something of a life outside of the community he grew up in or to set up the sequel Potok would eventually write.


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