Chaim Potok





Chaim Potok


Born
in Buffalo, New York, The United States
February 17, 1929

Died
July 23, 2002

Website

Genre

Influences


Herman Harold Potok, or Chaim Tzvi, was born in Buffalo, New York, to Polish immigrants. He received an Orthodox Jewish education. After reading Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited as a teenager, he decided to become a writer. He started writing fiction at the age of 16. At age 17 he made his first submission to the magazine The Atlantic Monthly. Although it wasn't published, he received a note from the editor complimenting his work.

In 1949, at the age of 20, his stories were published in the literary magazine of Yeshiva University, which he also helped edit. In 1950, Potok graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English Literature.

After four years of study at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America he was ordained as a Conservative
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Average rating: 4.07 · 137,350 ratings · 7,739 reviews · 36 distinct works · Similar authors
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The Promise

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In the Beginning

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I Am the Clay

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Old Men at Midnight

3.55 avg rating — 987 ratings — published 2001 — 13 editions
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Wanderings

3.95 avg rating — 858 ratings — published 1978 — 12 editions
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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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