Chaim Potok





Chaim Potok

Author profile


born
in Bronx, The United States
February 17, 1929

died
July 23, 2002

gender
male

website

genre


About this author

American author and rabbi. Herman Harold Potok was born in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from Poland.

His parents, Benjamin Max (d. 1958) and Mollie (Friedman) Potok (d. 1985), gave him a Hebrew name, Chaim Tzvi. His Orthodox education taught him Talmud as well as secular studies.

He decided to become a writer as a teenager, after reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.


Average rating: 4.04 · 99,427 ratings · 5,839 reviews · 36 distinct works · Similar authors
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I Am the Clay
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Old Men at Midnight
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Wanderings
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More books by Chaim Potok…
“I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.”
Chaim Potok, The Chosen

“Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?

I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.”
Chaim Potok, The Chosen

“…everything has a past. Everything – a person, an object, a word, everything. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.”
Chaim Potok, Davita's Harp

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