My Name is Asher Lev

Chaim Potok

The book, "My name is Asher Lev, is a story about a young man(Asher Lev)'s struggle

between a very religious Jew, or the world of an artist. Asher is born into a family whose

lives are devoted to a Judaism way of life. Asher's father, Aryeh Lev's life is dedicated to the

causes closest to his people. His life is devoted to preserving the culture of the Jewish

culture, and helps others being prosecuted in other countries. Young Asher is upset that his

father is not always around because his father is rarely ever home due to his travels to

other countries. From youth, Asher has a very deep sense of art, he has a gift. Making art is

getting in the way of Asher's "Jewish" lifestyle and his education. Asher's parents believe

that this is just a phase that he is going through, and that he will get through it. Rivkeh,

Asher's mother, does support Asher from his drawings, to keep him happy. Asher continues

his fascination of drawings as Yudel Krinsky, storeowner, gives him proper drawing pencils

and other art equipment. As Asher grows older and older, his art starts to draw a wedge in

between him and his parents, and his passion for drawings increases as well. The life of a

Ladover Jew is to obey their parents, which Asher does not do, which makes his parents

realize that they do not have full control over Asher. Asher is torn between trying to please

his parents, mainly his father, and his religion, or doing something that he is truly

passionate about. He starts to feel very guilty and sad, drawing is the only thing that takes

his mind off of all his worries, and relaxes him. Jacob Khan, a artist, teaches Asher

everything that he knows about art. Asher's feelings grow stronger to disobey what his

parents want and live a artistic life. Will Asher chose his God given gift over his religion? This

is a very powerful and uplifting book that shows a kid that is stuck in between two worlds.

In the view of him in the Jewish Sect, the reader feels very lonely and alienated. The

question that this book makes you ask yourself is that is it better to follow your heart, and

do what makes you happy, or to deny it and do what you are expected to be doing.