MY NAME IS ASHER LEV Hardcover – Mar 12 1972
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“A novel of finely articulated tragic power. . . . Little short of a work of genius.” --The New York Times Book Review
“Memorable. . . . Profound in its vision of humanity, of religion, and of art.”--The Wall Street Journal
“Such a feeling of freshness, of something brand-new. . . . Attention-holding and ultimately moving.” --The New York Times
“Engrossing and illuminating.” --Miami Herald --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
My Name is Asher Lev-Chaim Potok became a favorite author of mine after reading My Name is Asher Lev. I've since had the pleasure of hearing Chaim Potok speak on two occasions. To hear him answer questions regarding Asher Lev and his paintings is evidence of the true craftsmanship of this author. A most amazing part of the story is the integration of Christian ideals in the Jewish character of Asher Lev and his artwork. Its a truly remarkable story.
-Jocelyn Schmidt, Ballantine National Sales Coordinator --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
My Name Is Asher Lev. My Name Is Asher Lev. Wow! What a book. If you had told me that more than a hundred and twenty-five pages into the book that I would eventually love it, I would vehemently argue to the contrary.
But, it's true. This story became intriguing. This story became enlightening. This story became exciting. I'll start from the beginning.
This is the story of the family of Rabbi Aryeh Lev, his wife Rivkah, and their only child, Asher. They live in the densely Chasidic area of Crown Heights, in Brooklyn, New York. The story takes place over a twenty-five year period from when Asher was about to start day school.
In the first third of the book, we're treated to a meditation of sorts on the existence of living in the aftermath of a post WW 2 world. Europe was almost completely destroyed. Six million Jews murdered (such acts are called "genocide" not "ethnic cleansing"--there's nothing clean, or pure or even righteous about murder/ genocide). And, the daunting task of Jewish renewal, restoration, and restitution was just beginning.
In the relative safety of a northern US metropolitan city, descendents of European Jews, more specifically (but not limited to) Chasidic Jews made frequent trips abroad to address the needs of cultural and political restoration. This was Aryeh Lev's calling. Lev, a Chasidic Rabbi, came from a long and distinguished line of Rabbis, as author, the late Chaim Potok tells us. Lev married into another distinguished family that had generations of Rabbis. It was in this union that Aryeh wished his young son, Asher would continue the tradition and "not forget his people.Read more ›
Now, as I am heading into middle life, I have just reread "My Name is Asher Lev", and it is like a homecoming of sorts. I am again nodding my head and thinking "yes!". The artist inside will not rest until it is expressed. The story, and it's inspiring characters still speak to me on a very deep level, and again, I am struck by Mr.Potok's insight into the artist's mind and being.
While some aspects of orthodox Judaism - such as the reaction of Asher's father to Asher's work - are very disturbing in the book, Chaim Potok sensitively portrays Hasidism as a very meaningful and inherently beautiful way of life, and I appreciate having been enlightened even a little to what it is all about.
I could not possibly begin to explain how profound this book has been for me. I am eternally grateful to Chaim Potok for this timeless work of art.
This novel depicts the difficulties experienced by a Hasidic boy with a gift for painting. The story slowly develops, but builds to a marvelous crescendo. Potok does a great job of describing the alienation and difficulties of being overtaken by something that goes beyond cultural and familial influence. As in The Chosen, Potok presents us with a boy who is splintered between the spiritual basis of his upbringing and the world at large, which causes great strife between young Asher and his family. Potok, as always, does a great job of making the Hasidic Jewish culture accessible to any reader.
Most recent customer reviews
For creative people, this is a story that describes the war within. It puts words to your struggle to let your feelings out in an expression of some sort... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Stephen Noble
I recently read another book by Chaim Potok and have since been devouring anything of his I can find. This book was, however, disappointing. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Kate
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok is a remarkable story from the first page to the last. Potok takes the reader on a captivating journey through the complex mind and painful... Read morePublished on May 17 2004 by Elizabeth Kirkwood
Torn. Torn between the two incompatible worlds of Art and Judaism is the life that Asher Lev lives. Read morePublished on May 16 2004
I'm a teenage kid with a busy life of school and other things, but all that just stopped as soon as I picked up this book. Have mercy on my soul, this book was good. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by The Guitar
I'm speechless. Thank you, Mr. Potok. May your memory live on through your work.....Published on Dec 22 2003
I read maybe...3 Chapters of this book in my Act class at school and I found particularily useless. This is NOT a book i felt that the school board should be making middle school... Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2003 by Eternity
MY NAME IS ASHER LEV by Chaim Potok
A story about a young man's struggle between the secular world of an artist, and life as a Ladover Hasidic Jew, Chaim Potok's masterpiece... Read more
I was hesitant to read this book at first, but I was quickly won over. My Name is Asher Lev is the story of a boy growing up as a Hasidic Jew who finds, to the great regret of his... Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2003 by Charents