My Name is Asher Lev: A Historical Fiction Book

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  • Topic: Hasidic Judaism, Judaism, Art
  • Pages : 2 (655 words )
  • Download(s) : 66
  • Published : December 18, 2012
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My Name Is Asher Lev written by Chaim Potok is a historical fiction book that opens with a Jewish man named Asher Lev, talking about his reputation as a famous artist. He is hated because of a painting that some might say was very blasphemous. The story is set in a Hasidic neighborhood in postwar Brooklyn in New York. The story is about the childhood of Asher Lev, the artist who is misunderstood in the story for being Jewish and painting crucifixion of his parents. As a little boy, Asher could draw really well for his age, although it was frowned upon by his father because Asher’s father thought it was a waste of time, especially for a little boy who was one day going to finish his father’s and grandfather’s work. Asher’s grandfather worked for the Rabbi, traveling around the world teaching Hasidism, and one day he was murdered on the job. Now that Asher’s father took over his father’s job, it’s only expected that his son take over his work to. Asher’s family had worked for the Rabbi so his family was really important in a Hasidic community, so it was only expected that Asher would grow up and work for the Rabbi. The Rabbi gave special permission to Asher to study under a famous painter. Asher’s Father, Aryeh Lev still didn’t approve of his son’s skills. Aryeh never approved of his son’s skills because of the simple fact that art and religion do not mix. The reason why art and religion is said to not mix, is because art is a way to free and express your self spiritually and mentally. It is also said that in religion, you cannot “Free” yourself because your’e devoted to your God and you have to live by what your religion defines as the proper way to live.

In the 1940's in countries other than America any kind of religion was frowned upon because Communism was taking over these countries. Hasidic Jews were struck the hardest because you could see that they were Hasidic since they still practiced their religion by what they wore. The Hasidic Jews who fled to...
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