The Gift of Asher Lev Rivals anything Chaim Potok has ever produced It is a book written with passion about passion You re not likely to read anything better this year THE DETROIT NEWSTwenty years have passed for Asher Lev

  • Title: The Gift of Asher Lev
  • Author: Chaim Potok
  • ISBN: 9780449001158
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Paperback
  • Rivals anything Chaim Potok has ever produced It is a book written with passion about passion You re not likely to read anything better this year THE DETROIT NEWSTwenty years have passed for Asher Lev He is a world renowned artist living in France, still uncertain of his artistic direction When his beloved uncle dies suddenly, Asher and his family rush back to Brookl Rivals anything Chaim Potok has ever produced It is a book written with passion about passion You re not likely to read anything better this year THE DETROIT NEWSTwenty years have passed for Asher Lev He is a world renowned artist living in France, still uncertain of his artistic direction When his beloved uncle dies suddenly, Asher and his family rush back to Brooklyn and into a world that Asher thought he had left behind forever.From the Paperback edition.

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    About "Chaim Potok"

    1. Chaim Potok

      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 rabbi He was appointed director of Leaders Training Fellowship, a youth organization affiliated with Conservative Judaism.After receiving a master s degree in English literature, Potok enlisted with the U.S Army as a chaplain He served in South Korea from 1955 to 1957 He described his time in S Korea as a transformative experience Brought up to believe that the Jewish people were central to history and God s plans, he experienced a region where there were almost no Jews and no anti Semitism, yet whose religious believers prayed with the same fervor that he saw in Orthodox synagogues at home.Upon his return, he joined the faculty of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and became the director of a Conservative Jewish summer camp affiliated with the Conservative movement, Camp Ramah A year later he began his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and was appointed scholar in residence at Temple Har Zion in Philadelphia.In 1963, he spent a year in Israel, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Solomon Maimon and began to write a novel.In 1964 Potok moved to Brooklyn He became the managing editor of the magazine Conservative Judaism and joined the faculty of the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary The following year, he was appointed editor in chief of the Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia and later, chairman of the publication committee Potok received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.In 1970, Potok relocated to Jerusalem with his family He returned to Philadelphia in 1977 After the publication of Old Men at Midnight, he was diagnosed with brain cancer He died at his home in Merion, Pennsylvania on July 23, 2002, aged 73.

    629 thoughts on “The Gift of Asher Lev”

    1. I finished this book before I even had time to add it to my "Currently Reading" list. There will never be enough Potok in my life.

    2. Spoilers for My Name is Asher Lev and this book below.Does God have a plan or are we at the mercy of an uncaring universe where bad things happen to good people? The question of whether or not the universe is ordered permeates this book, though in a rather subtle way. The book doesn't actually provide an answer to this question, but this question weighs on the minds of the characters as their world becomes more uncertain.I'm not going to lie, I thought the ending of My Name Is Asher Lev was a ma [...]

    3. When I started this installment from Mr. Potok, the room where I read it was naturally dry.Line by line, chapter by chapter, I survived the frissons of emotion. And at some point, I acquiesced. By the end of the tale, I became sober in my instability and I allowed the sorrow that has always resided uncomfortably within, to flow with abandon.We have read a few authors in his phalanx, whose pens not only release ink and words, but somehow create an internal disturbance, even in a safe environment [...]

    4. A wonderful complex novel about individuality vs the community, with religion, art, family and depression all thrown in the mix. That, and mesmerising prose. Potok, you legend.

    5. **SPOILER ALERT ** This review talks about some of the main plot lines in the book.These books are full of excellent symbolism, from Asher's crucifixion paintings connoting the suffering of especially his mother but perhaps of the whole Jewish community, to his picture of Abraham with Isaac, Isaac actually being sacrificed. I think about Asher's father being full of rage seeing the pictures, and I think of a man who hasn't learned much in life, unable to understand anything except extremely cons [...]

    6. I really wanted to like this book, because I loved 'My Name is Asher Lev.' Unfortunately, this book just wasn't nearly up to snuff. To begin with, nothing happens. Asher, the main character, in particular is static. The entire book he has painter's block, so he just mopes around as is depressed. A large portion of the book is also flashbacks (which in the case of his wife are sometimes pretty interesting and touching--her character is a good new one to get to know) or else Asher's intuition abou [...]

    7. I LOVED this book. I think everyone one who has read My Name is Asher Lev should read this book. It took me all summer to read, basically because it is the kind of book that you linger over. I savored reading it, and really didn't want to finish. Not only are the chapters beautifully written, but the storyline balances out the difficulties Asher faced in his youth. This is twenty years later, when he has a wife and 2 children, and is now returning to the U.S. It is about redemption, hope, and su [...]

    8. It was nice seeing what happened after the first Asher Lev book. In my opinion, this book wasn't as good as the first. The biggest issue I had was that Asher Lev didn't fight more to let his son be able to choose his own path since that is what he himself had to do. That being said I understand that this would be a great honor for the family and it would be great for Asher to gain the affection that he lost from the Hasidic community.

    9. I’m going to give away the end, so you may need to stop reading. But it’s the end I want to talk about. First, I adored the earlier book, My Name is Asher Lev (1972). I think it is, without exaggeration, a profound statement on the integrity of the artist. Second, everyone told me that the sequel, The Gift of Asher Lev (1990), wasn’t very good. Well, it wasn’t as good as the first, but it wasn’t that bad, either. I still found it absorbing, worth reading, and very interesting. Generall [...]

    10. It is 20 years after the events in the first book, My Name is Asher Lev. Lev has lived those years in France--currently in a small town in the south of France. He is married, with two children, his daughter Rochelel and his young son Avrumel. Lev has just had a disastrous show in Paris; while all his works sold, those critics he respects have been devastating, calling his work repetitive and worse. Agreeing, Lev is now suffering through a dry period--he can not paint. In the midst of all this, L [...]

    11. After revisiting My Name Is Asher Lev and finding it a disappointing experience, I don't know why I decided to read this second volume. It took some strength of character to finish it, too (or do I mean stubbornness?). I found myself trudging through the final 30 pages just to be done with it.The 1990s saw the advent of the Age of the Remake in films, TV, followon fiction etc and this book reads like one. Asher Lev (who is still called by his full name by a startling number of his friends and fa [...]

    12. I first read Chaim Potok's books when I was 13 and I received The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev from my Hebrew school teacher as a bat mitzvah present. I remember coming home from the ceremony and the celebration and how I was so happy to be alone and read these books. Now, when collective Judaism is very hard for me to connect to, I enjoyed entering into Chaim Potok's description of an individual's struggle between himself as an individual and himself as a member of a strong and deep religiou [...]

    13. Potok wrote this book 5 years after his last book. He should have stayed in retirement. Aside of being overly descriptive in meaningless scenery, Potoks book is obsessed with Art, yet never developed anything. I felt that no part of the story was settled and was an incredible waste of my time. Examples are his uncles art collection. "Oh. Just keep it in storage"?? Really??? It's destroying his family and just keep it in storage??? Asher lev gave a picture to his son as a gift. And that was suppo [...]

    14. Read this after recently rereading My Name is Asher Lev. This book is also challenging but in the end more satisfying, I think. I'm still uncomfortable with it, but was completely mesmerized by this story. I just could not put it down. One of the most compelling novels I've read. I knew the ending--it seemed inescapable throughout most of the book. Stunning and heartbreaking with a tiny winking light of hope peeking through. It was like the entire world changed colors as I read this book.

    15. I really loved these two books but like many others felt let down with the rushed ending. You know what is going to happen in the end but more could definitely have been addedme resolutions of the mind and relationships of Asher. This book made me think about compromise for the good of all involvedThe need for acceptance even though you don't condone the actions. A great story of the need for balance in all areas of life and to forgive and love unconditionaly.

    16. I am always skeptical about sequels, but this one was amazing. I would say I liked this one even better than My name is Asher Lev. Asher's a bit older and has a family in this one, so his issues are different. There is a mystery woven throughout this novel pertaining to a riddle that the rabbi shares at Asher's uncle's death. A really great book. Highly recommended.

    17. At first I didn't like it as much as My Name is Asher Lev, but as I got going, I LOVED it! It was an interesting look at sacrifice. Great books, wonderful author.

    18. The Gift of Asher Lev is a fitting sequel to My Name is Asher Lev. Nearly 20 years after My Name, Asher Lev, exiled Hasid artist, thrives in France. His name is among contemporary greats, listed with Picasso and Jacob Kahn. He is married to Devorah and has two beautiful kids, Rochelah and Avrumel. His exile is home. But two events in sharp succession throw Asher into Ambiguity: vicious criticism of his most recent exhibition and the death of his beloved Uncle Yitzchok. In one swoop, his criti [...]

    19. Empecé el libro con cierto temor a ser decepcionada, porque su primera parte es uno de mis libros favoritos. Sin llegar al nivel del primero (es un libro único), El don de Asher Lev merece la pena ser leído, e incluso te quedas con las ganas de leer el tercero, que nunca llegó a escribir Potok.

    20. This was a fine sequel to My Name Is Asher Lev. It deals with similar themes (the tension between religion and art, family and religion, etc.), and Asher's "voice" is similar, though he's more mature now at 45.Twenty years after he painted the crucifixions, Asher returns to Brooklyn with his family after the death of his Uncle Yitzchok. They plan to stay only a few weeks, but the visit becomes a month, and then another, and Asher's creative drought only worsens.I thought the book dragged a bit i [...]

    21. I liked this even more than My Name is Asher Lev. I am not quite sure where to begin. This is my third Potok book in about a month, and I continue to get absorbed in his writing style in such a real way that I find myself thinking about the book and characters throughout the day and into the evening. I wondered for some of the book if there was any possibility of truth to Asher's character, or if it was heavily stereotyped. Sad, lonely, selfish artist forced to choose between art and his family, [...]

    22. The strength of Potok is the honesty and depth to his characters and their communities. In his stories of the Ladovers there is beauty and love, anger and disappointment, hope and despair. One feels like they have truly stepped into this world of the Hasid, which for me is at once alien and familiar. In some ways, I feel like Asher: I am connected to this world, but not part of it. Asher of course is a part of the Hasidic world, buy he is in a kind of exile within it. Asher's duality here allows [...]

    23. My favorite book of all time is My Name Is Asher Lev. I adore it. It speaks truth into my life every time I read it.The Gift of Asher Lev is also a life-giving book to me. I adore Chaim Potok's writing, and I appreciate the way he continues the story of Asher's life in this book. I can't figure out where to begin to spill all my thoughts and feelings about this book. It may be over dramatic, but I feel that The Gift completes My Name in the way Asher speaks of things needing to be completed. It' [...]

    24. In this book's predecessor, My Name is Asher Lev, there is much struggle in Asher's mind between following his strict religion & community or breaking away and painting what he sees in the world, even if goes against his religion. In The Gift of Asher Lev there is only a little of this struggle. The main struggle is with his family--where should they live? What will become of the children? What will his father do when the Rebbe dies? What does his wife really want?A lot of the text is Asher' [...]

    25. This is the sequel to "My Name is Asher Lev." Asher is now married and grown up with children of his own. He is a successful artist, but finds himself trying to recover after a show in Paris where the critics weren't so pleased with his work. His uncle in Brooklyn passes away and he takes his family to New York for the funeral and mourning. His wife, Devorah, lost her parents as a child and she finds herself enjoying the family and community in Brooklyn. They end up extending their 10 day trip m [...]

    26. I can't quite explain why, but I had a harder time reading this book than the first. It was the reading equivalent to walking around waist deep in syrup. It's hard to do, but syrup is delicious? Yeah Yeah that totally makes sense. Potok does a fantastic job again of creating an image of the characters surroundings as you read, but there was almost too much of it, and not enough content. I suppose that's the Chaim Potok way though. He's the master at eloquently writing about seemingly nothing, wi [...]

    27. Even though I'm usually skeptical of sequels, I recall pouncing on this when I first saw it. I love how Potok brings greater depth to an already complex and lovable character. In many ways this book surpassed its predecessor for me. Asher Lev's return to NY brings new opportunities to heal old rifts. Ironically, as he finds the means within himself to narrow those gaps, he creates a new wound that ultimately renews everyone including himself. Gut-wrenching and beautiful.

    28. The much-awaited sequel to Potok's My Name is Asher Lev--picks up 20 years later when Asher is a famous artist living in Paris. He is thrust back into the New York religious life when his beloved uncle dies suddenly. A moving story, yet, this does not reach the height of emotion and power that the first story does. By all means, still read it!

    29. I snagged a copy of this from the free books bin. (Even though I have a hardcover copy. Hey, it's nice to have a backup that isn't quite so heavy.) And upon re-reading it, the double meaning in the title finally clicked. Slight embarrassment!Anyway, I wonder if anyone else who's seen this edition's cover thinks that Asher looks like Harrison Ford, and finds it to be odd.

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