- By Chaim Potok

My Name Is Asher Lev

  • Title: My Name Is Asher Lev
  • Author: Chaim Potok
  • ISBN: 9780394461373
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Hardcover
  • My Name Is Asher Lev Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom the Master of the Universe Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the

    Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels even when it leads him to blasphemy.In this stirring and often visionary novel, Chaim Potok traces Asher s passage between these two identities, theAsher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels even when it leads him to blasphemy.In this stirring and often visionary novel, Chaim Potok traces Asher s passage between these two identities, the one consecrated to God, the other subject only to the imagination.Asher Lev grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn, a world suffused by ritual and revolving around a charismatic Rebbe But in time his gift threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores As it follows his struggle, My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous portrait of the artist, by turns heartbreaking and exultant, a modern classic.

    1 thought on “My Name Is Asher Lev

    1. Chaim Potok is a brilliant author who refuses to write a page-turning book. I can't tell you how many bad books I have finished hoping for a Potok-esque finish.ng depth that justifies the slow pace of his books. This was a book I had a hard time finishing. It was too easily put down and, to be truthful, I didn't even like this book until about 3/4 of the way into it. Now, I emphatically say that it is one of the best books I have ever read.There is so much to say about this book. Throughout my e [...]

    2. Powerful. This is the story of a Hasidic Jew who is a gifted painter, a talent not approved of among orthodox Jews. His life becomes a struggle between his father--who tries to stir him away from the arts to more traditionally accepted hobbies all the while trying to understand him--and his need to draw to express himself. I could sympathize with all the characters in the book: his father for trying to hold onto his religious convictions without dominance but love, his mother for trying to love [...]

    3. devo dire che è un libro scritto molto bene; non so se l'autore, Chaim Potok, abbia seguito il consiglio di Cechov di scrivere soltanto quando si è freddi come il ghiaccio, perché qui e là trapelano punte di nostalgia scottante, bollori e schegge arroventate di rivalsa personale. Ma gli ebrei scrivono sempre per espiare colpe come in un inferno, mai trionfalmente. Non è quello che propriamente si potrebbe considerare un romanzo, con una trama vera e propria, ma una specie di autobiografia a [...]

    4. I've heard good things about Potok's "Chosen" and it sounds like that's his book that most people have read. I enjoyed his style here and I suspect I'll pick up The Chosen to read later.Content/ThemeBefore commenting on anything else, I need to comment on the theme and content of the book. This book is deeply entrenched in the Jewish culture and has many references that are likely very commonplace to those in the Jewish culture, but were very foreign to me. I got the general meaning of most thin [...]

    5. Dice Chaim Potok: “Noi abbiamo sempre raccontato storie, fin dall’inizio della nostra specie: le storie sono il modo grazie al quale diamo un significato alla nostra vita. (…) La tensione fra l’individuo solo che aspira alla propria realizzazione e la comunità è proprio l’argomento delle storie moderne, diversamente da quanto avveniva in passato. La vita non è semplice così le storie non sono semplici, la vita è tragica così le storie sono tragiche, la vita è piena di domande di [...]

    6. A tragically gripping, page turning work of total genius. I hate to even review it because it was that good and maybe just five stars would be better than me blubbering about it I was completely engrossed and almost read 3/4ths of it one night, but stopped abruptly to have the novel follow me around the house and in my bag for another week because I didn't want to be through with it. I came back to it and finished it in one sitting. Some books change your life, some books are your life. Differen [...]

    7. I hated to finish this book, because I loved it so much.It is the story of a Hasidic Jewish boy who loves to draw and paint and has the ability to become a great artist, but his father hates his obsession with art because he thinks it is from the Other Side and is evil.I loved how this story drew me into the daily life of this young boy, his family and his struggle to become who he was meant to be. I, too, had a gift for drawing and know how devastating it is to be not only not encouraged, but a [...]

    8. Questo è un libro sostanzioso, ricco di temi interessanti affrontati con delicatezza. I temi principali sono il rapporto genitori/figli, il crescere in una famiglia religiosa e opprimente, la ricerca della propria identità che non riesce ad emergere perché soffocata dall'ambiente circostante; si parla della lotta interiore nata dal voler perseguire una passione e i sensi di colpa dovuti al ferire le persone che si amano; si parla di arte, di quanto possa essere incontrollabile una passione co [...]

    9. Let me preface this review by stating that I have little basis for identifying with many characters in the book: I am not Jewish, was not raised in a religious community, did not see my community nearly exterminated during the worst conflict in the 20th century, and couldn't draw a properly proportioned stick figure to save my life. In spite of all of these obstacles I found this book both challenging and emotionally compelling.This book raises many questions: what does it mean to be an artist? [...]

    10. The Absence of ItalicsI returned to reread this classic after reading Talia Carner's recent novel Jerusalem Maiden, since the protagonists of both are talented artists raised within Orthodox Judaism, struggling to reconcile their art to their faith. To succeed, the writers must convey the nature of both religious belief and artistic inspiration, a challenge that Potok meets brilliantly. Consider one significant example. Both novels are full of Hebrew words—Shabbos, Rosh Hadesh, Krias Shema, Ha [...]

    11. This book reached me on many levels and gave me a lot to think about. Here are a few of them:1. As parents, we push our children to do well in school, some of us want our kids to excel in sports, others want their kids to be leaders and to have a lot of friends and to be popular. Here we have a prodigy son who at a young age is a Mozart of art, and yet because of his parent's religious background and beliefs, he is made to believe his gift is bad and useless and that he should conform to their n [...]

    12. Over the years, my Dad and I would occasionally have a conversation about this book. It would invariably go something like this:My dad asks, "You have never read My Name is Asher Lev?" and I would reply, "No, I haven't""You are so lucky! Now you still have the joy of looking forward to reading the book.""We've had this conversation before, Dad.""Then why haven't you read it yet?""Because as soon as I read it, you won't say I'm so lucky anymore."I think the risk was worth it to be "less lucky" an [...]

    13. "My name is Asher Lev" est un bildungsroman bien réussi dont le protagoniste est un jeune newyorkais né dans une famille hassidique du groupe loubavitch. L'hassidisme est un mouvement judaïque intégriste et Kabbalistique fondée du dix-huitième siècle en Pologne. Les membres vivent en communautés séparées des chrétiens. Ils suivent le code vestimentaire judaique moyeneageux. Les hommes portent des les papillotes et les femmes mariées portent des perruques. Vus de l'extérieure le but [...]

    14. WHATTHEFUDGEI knew you didn't expect me to ever say this (didn't expect it myself) but this is the first school book I absolutely LOVED. Like, loved-adored-wanttomarry. I gave it 5 stars at first, then decided to lower that to 4.5 stars because I had some minor (really minor) issues with it. I literally expected this to be pure crap, the worst smelly dung so to call it (most schoolbooks kind of are, especially the books our English teachers give us) (except this year, apparently we have better b [...]

    15. You're a Hasidic Jew. Is that your identity? You're an artist, a "prodigy." Is that your identity? You're being pulled by opposing forces, urges, needs: You're Chaim Potok's Asher Lev; you're also Rivkeh Lev, Asher's mother. Or perhaps you're a nameless illustration of the human condition. If, however, your name is Asher Lev, then, unlike ordinary dual creatures, you come to realize that "paint" begins with pain and ends with the letter that looks like a cross. And the pain that is yours is not [...]

    16. The first time I read this book--for my 11th grade English class--I read it in one afternoon, and I can honestly say that it changed my life. The second time around was just as powerful for me. Like many others have commented, the genius in Chaim Potok's writing is his remarkable ability to drive a book forward with virtually no plot. Asher Lev doesn't do a lot of things aside from paint and worship for years, but the real story is his internal struggle and his battle with his feelings--it's pre [...]

    17. “Si è mai sentito di un grande artista che fosse felice?”Asher Lev è un bambino che ha un dono prezioso, sa disegnare. Sente il bisogno irresistibile di esprimere le sue emozioni ed i suoi sentimenti attraverso la pittura. Questo sarebbe una cosa pregevole, se non fosse che è ebreo.Il padre è un importante rappresentante della comunità dei Chassidim Ladover di Brooklyn ed è molto religioso e rigoroso applicante degli usi, dei costumi e delle tradizioni. E’ un uomo buono ma di vedute [...]

    18. This is a book I picked up in Marlborough, NH, at a little used bookstore, also while on my New England vacation. I'd heard many people say how much they loved this book, so when I found it waiting for me on a step stool, I figured I'd take it with me.I guess it was a coincidence that "Any Bitter Thing" had so many Catholic themes while "My Name is Asher Lev" portrays the life of a Hasidic Jew who loves to paint. So, with that little sidenote, let me tell you what I thought of the book.I have to [...]

    19. Where I got the book: purchased on .Asher Lev is born into a strictly orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn in the 1950s. His powerful gifts as an artist become apparent when he is a small boy, and he soon learns that his artistic vision is at odds with a worldview which fears and despises art and puts duty to the family and community as the highest calling.This novel is sufficiently deep that I could spend a long time discussing its themes (sacrifice and atonement being two of the major [...]

    20. My Name is Asher Lev is about, at its heart, "the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other's throats." It depicts that unspeakable mystery in all its painful humanity, and as a consequence the book is moving and disturbing. Asher Lev is a Hasidic Jew who has a gift for painting, a "foolishness" his father cannot understand. Potok could have turned Asher's father into a villain; instead he makes him human and sympathetic. [...]

    21. Books like this are wasted on the young. I’m so glad I was a lazy middle school student and didn’t read it because I would have missed most of the meaning and then passed over it now. Though it started slow for me, sputtering out of the gate with 3 stars, it soon picked up speed and crossed the finish line with 5 stars - not because the story was racing, but because my mind was. You will see religiously devout parents through the eyes of a child; you will see the Hasidic Jewish world through [...]

    22. "A gift," is what Jacob Kahn told Asher Florence, Italy was. I thought this book was a gift too. I really can't say exactly why I liked this book so much but I was completely absorbed in it. First off, I found it interesting to see how a child handles his artistic "gift" when his family and others around him tell him it's foolishness. I found the family dynamic heart-breaking and real. I found the end when Asher had to choose between being true to himself/his art and his religion and what his fa [...]

    23. PREFACE: I was believed I was first introduced to Chiam Potok my first year of college. I never had to read the The Promise of The Chosen in high school. However after starting on my Potok journey, I realized that the first works I read of Potok's were The History the Jews. His biographical, geographical, historical account of the Jewish race and through travel through time. I read this book before going to Isreal.My all time favorite Potok book is My Name is Asher Lev, this book began my journe [...]

    24. Appeal: I cannot find the wordsto explain the appeal of this book. I find it terribly ironic that I finished it today, on Easter, the holiest day of the year for me as a fervent Christian. Comments: This book is buzzing around in my head; it feels too fresh for me to write any clear thoughts about why it was so powerful. All I can say is to read this book for yourself. But be careful if you do; it is not a book to be read lightly.

    25. I learned from this book about art, about religion, about mothers, and about artists. Pure art is a form of the most honest expression about the world and its meanings. Religion is a means of bringing balance to a world full of pain and terror. Both art and religion express their own plays of forms for the pain, but they are different realms of meaning that can be difficult to bridge, given that dogmatic understandings of universal duty are a simple way for one to make sense of his actions and p [...]

    26. Every one of us has something holding us back to our past, to our roots. Whatever that might be (family; traditions, some of which have perhaps lost relevence; religious constraints; the pacing of our daily lives; unsupportive mates and colleagues; or a myriad of other possible constraints), it is for each of us a life struggle to free ourselves of whatever keeps us from fully developing our authentic selves. This is the story told in "My Name is Asher Lev." A Hasidic Jewish boy is born into a f [...]

    27. This book did not fail all of the praise it has received. Although it took me a little bit to really get into it, once I did, I simply could not put it down. It was powerful and heart wrenching. Asher Lev had been born with a gift of art. It could not be denied. His father disowned him, and his mother was brought grief. He came from a Jewish Orthodox society, where painting was a sin. His passion could not be controlled. Eventually, his great artistic skill led him to the drawing of nudes, and w [...]

    28. This book was recommended under "Fear of Confrontation" in The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You. From childhood on, Asher must repeatedly confront his father, his mother, his Hassidic Jewish family and community, and the "Master of the Universe" as he fulfills his artistic destiny. At every turn, he is met with a wide spectrum of negative emotions and very little encouragement from the people he loves most. Despite the temptation to please and honor h [...]

    29. I know this book gets rave reviews that it probably well deserves, but there are some things that I have a hard time overlooking. First I should say that I really liked The Chosen. For me the most irritating thing is the short, repetative sentences that describe either conversations or actions on Asher's part. I know they were written for a certain purpose, but it is still hard for me to like it or to like Asher. And it's frustrating that he won't communicate well. Is that an artist thing? and t [...]

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