To a great degree, he is describing not only the lives of the characters in the novel but his own life — ac-cording to Potok, the novel is very much an autobiography of his young-adult life. His father had emigrated from Poland to the United States in
Plot[ edit ] This is the story of Asher Lev, a boy born with a prodigious artistic ability into a Hasidic Jewish family, set in the s in the time of Joseph Stalin and the persecution of Jews and religious people in the Soviet Union.
It brings him into particularly strong conflict with his father, a man who has devoted his life to serving their leader, the Rebbe, by traveling around the world bringing the teachings and practice of their sect to other Jews, and who is by nature incapable of understanding or appreciating art.
His mother decides to stay in Brooklyn with Asher, while his father goes to Vienna. Asher begins to go to art museums where he studies paintings. He becomes very interested in the paintings, especially the ones of the crucifixions.
He starts copying the paintings of the crucifixions and nudes, but this would only get him into trouble. She is torn between the two of them.
Yet the gift will not be denied, and finally the Rebbe intercedes and allows Asher to study under one of the greatest living artists, Jacob Kahn, a non-observant Jew who is an admirer of the Rebbe.
Jacob Kahn becomes more than just an art teacher to Asher. Jacob Kahn also teaches Asher about life and they eventually become very good friends.
This imagery so offends his parents and his community that he is asked to leave. Asher goes away not wanting to hurt the ones he loves further. Characters[ edit ] Asher Lev — Asher is the protagonist and narrator of the story.
During his childhood, Asher is overwhelmed with his passion for drawing and painting so much that he becomes apathetic towards most of the world around him. Because of his lack of dedication and focus towards his education, the people surrounding him mainly his father begin to feel ashamed of what he has become.
As Asher grows older, he learns to channel his emotion and energy into his artwork and becomes immensely successful. Jacob Kahn — Jacob Kahn is a successful artist.
He freed himself from all conditioning forces such as religion, community, and popularity in an attempt to create a lifestyle in which he could express himself freely. He believes in creating balance between inner emotions and true identity. He is extremely firm, and usually so in a demeaning manner.
Deeply committed to his work for the Rebbe, he travels throughout Europe building yeshivas and saving Jews from Russian persecution. Aryeh is close-minded, stubborn, and has difficulty with value systems other than his own.
Rivkeh Lev — Rivkeh Lev is torn between her love of her husband and son. She struggles daily with the conflict between them. Rivkeh is torn, but ultimately sides with her husband, and goes with him to Europe leaving Asher behind to live with his uncle.
Rivkeh became very ill and depressed because they were very close. Like Aryeh, he travelled for the Rebbe, and this disturbs Rivkeh.
|Keep Exploring Britannica||He received an Orthodox Jewish education.|
He is kind and generous, and gives Asher a place to stay while his parents are in Europe. Asher lived with him for a while. She is introduced to Asher through Jacob Kahn. She is impatient, but cares about her artists.
She is important to the story because she knows about Siberia and the suffering that Reb Yudel Krinsky went through there. Just as they were oppressed and punished for their beliefs, Asher is negatively viewed by his father, his teachers, and his peers.
Via his training, Asher Lev explores aesthetic traditions of beauty.Chaim Potok Biography Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In The Chosen, Chaim Potok (pronounced Hi em Poe talk) describes the condition of American Jews living in two cultures, one secular and one religious.
Jul 23, · Chaim Potok (February 17, – July 23, ) was an American Jewish author and rabbi. Potok is most famous for his first book The Chosen (), which was listed on The New York Times’ best seller list for 39 weeks and sold more than 3,, copies.
Chaim Potok, along with his younger brother and two younger sisters, was raised in the Orthodox Jewish religion. (His brother eventually became a rabbi, and his sisters both married rabbis.) As with many young boys raised in the Orthodox Jewish religion, he attended Jewish parochial schools, most notably Talmudic Academy of Yeshiva College.
Chaim Potok, original name Herman Harold Potok, (born February 17, , New York, New York, U.S.—died July 23, , Merion, Pennsylvania), American rabbi and author whose novels introduced to American fiction the spiritual and cultural life of Orthodox Jews. Chaim Potok (February 17, - July 23, ) was an American Jewish author and rabbi.
Herman Harold Potok was born in the Bronx to Benjamin Max (d. ) and Mollie (Friedman) Potok (d. ), Jewish immigrants from pfmlures.com: February 17, , Bronx, New York.
Jul 24, · Chaim Potok, a scholar and ordained rabbi whose best-selling novels about Hasidic Judaism explored the wrenching decision to forsake a close-knit parochial community for the world outside, died.