Asher Lev

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In human culture throughout the centuries there have been a select few gifted souls that have graced this earth. Each one special in there own way and talented beyond what the world has ever seen before. In the book My Name is Asher Lev we encounter one of these incredible prodigies. Asher’s story is similar to many other talented individuals in that he is raised in circumstances that seem less than suitable for a budding talent. This is a typical problem for the gifted because they do not view the world the same as others who may be close to them view it. It is a monumentally different place to the gifted.

The exceptionally creative may need a different approach when it comes to their development. The gifted need to be treated with patience and given room to grow their talents. In My Name is Asher Lev, Asher’s parents are not very supportive of his gifts. His mother is the more supportive of the two. She can relate to Asher’s problem of wanting to grow in his art and the communities disapproval. She even buys him paint at one point and takes him to an art museum. When he asks his mother questions that she fears may corrupt his Jewish faith she can no longer accept his gifts in front of his father. Eventually she supports him by saying, “You and your father are two different natures. There is nothing to be done about it, Asher Lev...Do not try to understand, Become a great artist.   That is the only way to justify what you are doing to everyone's life.”(Potok) In school, a place that should be a refuge of learning and peace Asher's Headmaster remarks “Many people feel they are in possession of a great gift when they are young. But one does not always have to give in to a gift. One does with a life not only what is precious to one's self, but to one's own people. That is the way our people live...”(Potok) This notion that a gift should be ignored for a civic responsibility is incredibly ignorant and short sided. The headmaster has no idea the incredible things...
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