Likely, it is because of this fact that people are able to struggle for being the right kind of person that they know they ought to become.
At the early age of ten he showed talent in drawing and painting but was dissuaded by his father and Talmudic teachers from pursuing this interest. Instead, he undertook a serious religious and secular education, first at the Orthodox Yeshiva University, New York, where he received a BA in English summa cum laude in ; then at the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, where he received his rabbinic ordination in ; and finally at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained a PhD in Potok served as a chaplain in the United States Army with front-line units in Korea from to During that time, he made a number of trips to Japan, which turned out to be a crucial experience since it forced him to rethink his religious and cultural position.
In an interview Potok has said that all of his books came about 'as a result of that moment in time when I stood in Hiroshima, trying to figure out where I was and what I was doing there, and what it all really meant to me'. He then began a distinguished teaching and publication career in Jewish studies; he became editor-in-chief of the Jewish Publication Society of America and collaborated on the new authorized translation of the Hebrew Bible, which was finally completed in Meanwhile Potok had started writing, first in diary form, on his experiences in Korea.
This work appeared in strongly revised form as I Am The Clay more than thirty-five years later; it was followed by the first draft of what was to become his best-known novel, The Chosen, written in Jerusalem during the fall and winter ofand published after major revisions in Basically dealing with the interplay of the Jewish tradition and Western secular humanism, it had an extraordinary world-wide success.
The novel was turned into a major film in It was followed two years later by The Promise a sequel that continues to examine in fictional form the complicated relationship between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism.
In My Name Is Asher Lev appeared, a novel about a Hasidic painter as a young man in conflict with his family and his religious community.
This further established Potok's literary reputation.
From to Potok went to live with his wife and three young children in Jerusalem. In he returned to America and settled with his family in Merion, a distinguished suburb north of Philadelphia, where he now lives in a lovely Tudor house, with a large painting studio on the second floor.
Potok is a self-taught painter, who since the late sixties has produced a considerable number of idiosyncratic paintings. In Potok published a non-fiction work, calledWanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews which is a highly personal and imaginative account of what Judaism is, what it borrowed from surrounding cultures and what it gave back to the world.
It was followed in by The Book of Lights, which centers on the apparent contrast between the constructive 'light' of Jewish cabalistic mysticism and the destructive 'light' of the atomic bomb, co-developed by Jewish physicists.
Published inThe Gift of Asher Lev takes up the further developments of his earlier eponymous fictional hero, who now appears to be in a personal as well as artistic mid-life crisis that is ultimately resolved by an uneasy compromise between the demands of his family and the Jewish community on the one hand and those of his artistic calling on the other.
With I Am The Clay, which he had started writing before The Chosen but subsequently strongly revised and rewrote during the period of the Gulf War, Potok entered a new phase in his literary career.
Although the Holocaust and the themes of suffering and survival have been thematically present in all his work, they become central in his latest fictions, The Trope Teacher and The Canal Both works show the devastating after-effects of the Holocaust on the respective main characters, neither of whom is an observant Jew any more.My Name Is Asher Lev Summary & Study Guide Chaim Potok This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of My Name Is Asher Lev.
My Name is Asher Lev study guide contains a biography of Chaim Potok, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About My Name is Asher Lev My Name is Asher Lev Summary. Chaim Potok’s My Name Is Asher Lev Novel Analysis Chaim Potok’s Asher Lev is a dual being trapped inside a little boy.
On one side there is the family’s beliefs, the religious traditions and his great ancestor role-model, who Asher is expected to take after, if . In the written work of Chaim Potok, Asher Lev is a young aspiring artist who is also a Jew needing to adjust into a life that his parents needs him to trod.
In this particular reading, Potok aims to show how life could be a bit tiring to deal with especially if one tries to live for a .
Clear, direct prose—Potok writes in a way everyone can understand and never really tries any fancy stuff.
Plot Analysis Baby GeniusThe setup for the novel is pretty basic: Asher Lev is a little kid who can paint and draw like an adult who's already graduated from art school. My Name is Asher Lev is a novel by Chaim Potok that was first published in