Sundy DeGooyer's Reviews > My Name Is Asher Lev

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
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's review
Dec 04, 2010

it was amazing

Chaim Potok, in his novel My Name is Asher Lev, explores a situation where art and religion are struggling against each other. The story explores if and how the two can live together. Which will win? Religion or Art?
Asher Lev is a typical Orthodox Jewish boy. He has a passion for his religion, for his synagogue, and for his people. But there's one thing about him that is deemed unacceptable by everyone around him. Asher Lev also has a passion to paint.
To Asher's dismay, this was condemned by his parents, teachers, friends, and rabbi. They called it foolishness. But as much as he tried, he couldn't give up his gift.
Asher Lev was caught in a dilemma between his art and his religion. All of his peers were insisting he devote his life to Judaism; his conscience was insisting he devote his life to art.
I know Judaism isn’t Mormonism… but there are a lot of parallels between the two religions. I’m so glad that art is encouraged in the LDS religion. I hurt for Asher Lev who had to choose between the two. I don’t know what I would do without the arts in my life. I have also enjoyed reading about Jews. This book started me reading many books about the Jewish faith. I loved learning and comparing their religion with my own, true religion!
Chaim Potok does a phenomenal job in relating the life of a boy filled with inner struggles and emotion. I enjoyed re-reading this book for my list and definitely recommend it to all my friends.

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