My Name Is Asher Lev Summary ¸ 8

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My Name Is Asher LevAsher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom the Master of the Universe Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels even when it leads him to blasphemy In this st. The World in One’s Hands Sitra Achra literally The Other Side in Aramaic is the kabbalistic domain of evil It contains what is false and impure the most important component of which is the idea that evil is contained in the Master of the Universe This idea is not only an impiety it is also the source of countless other horrors that prevent human beings from appreciating their own reality The struggle against the Sitra Achra is the central theme of My Name Is Asher Lev established at the outset and pursued constantly throughout the bookEvil is a very tricky theological issue Typically it is either rationalised away as only apparent in a world governed by Providence; or it is considered an aberration brought about by human beings who act in error Judaic Kabbalah unlike most religious practices however takes the existence of evil seriously as a fundamental and pervasive fact But it also refuses to fall into the Gnostic trap of including evil as an inherent part of the divine Evil exists in a sort of parallel universe one which lacks a crucial component of the divine and its Creation languageSuch a universe is in one sense impossible to conceive There are literally no words to describe it The best we can do it to call it ‘darkness’ Within this realm of darkness chaos reigns Out of it the darkness seeks to overcome the light in part by infecting language itself Stalin for example as part of the Sitra Achra kills Jewish writers both because they are Jewish and because they write and substitutes Soviet propaganda for divine truth There are even Jewish Communists who persecute other Jews Ultimately it is words that killed the writers the millions of others in Russia and in the Holocaust laws and commands and secret memoranda and judicial verdicts all in the language made unsafe by the Sitra AchraKabbalah can be considered as a mystical approach to disinfecting language by turning language in on itself using language to undermine the pretensions of language when it becomes something that it shouldn’t lies misrepresentations distortions and claims to reality It is not enough to say the Krias Shema before sleep the Modeh Ani upon waking or the dozens of other prayers for every other occasion during the day Even the language of these prayers must transcend language itselfThe artist in a community devoted to the Kabbalah is thus in an ambiguous position On the one hand he relativises written and spoken language through his pictorial interpretation of the world even the world of darkness which is immune from linguistic description Such interpretation challenges whatever existing representations of reality there might be and therefore is consistent with kabbalistic practice On the other hand it is unclear whether any artistic innovation might be yet another attempt by the forces of the Sitra Achra to dim the light of divine guidance Is such art grace or heresySo the issue raised by Asher Lev’s artistic talent is not aesthetic It is not even moral in the narrow sense of rightness and wrongness His abilities as a painter have profound significance not just for the community but for the entire cosmos An artist attacks the Sitra Achra directly by entering into it with his art His duty is to bring the Sitra Achra within the world of divine creation by giving it a language a means of representing itself in order to see itself clearlyThis is a dangerous business The danger is that the artist attempts to emulate the Master of the Universe rather than act as His instrument Does the artist represent light or darkness Is his art a purification or a desecration These are as much uestions for Asher Lev as they are for his community in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights in which even “washing for meals was a cosmic enterprise”Postscript Also see

Chaim Potok ☆ 8 Free read

D revolving around a charismatic Rebbe But in time his gift threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores As it follows his struggle My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous portrait of the artist by turns heartbreaking and exultant a modern classi. A tragically gripping page turning work of total genius I hate to even review it because it was that good and maybe just five stars would be better than me blubbering about it I was completely engrossed and almost read 34ths of it one night but stopped abruptly to have the novel follow me around the house and in my bag for another week because I didn't want to be through with it I came back to it and finished it in one sitting Some books change your life some books are your life Different art professors who meant a lot to me and friends through the years all have urged and recommended me to read this All the recommendations were given at different times and curiously stillfrom people unrelated to each other which held the title of the book in my memory for a long time as something of significance especially in the way that they told me it especially for me But like trips to Paris and having children somethings take time to happen The years have passed and a copy of the book never seemed to come my way I'm so glad it finally did

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My Name Is Asher Lev Summary ¸ 8 ì Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom the Master of the Universe Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels even when it leads him to blasphemy In this stirring and often visionary novel Chaim Potok tIrring and often visionary novel Chaim Potok traces Asher’s passage between these two identities the one consecrated to God the other subject only to the imaginationAsher Lev grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn a world suffused by ritual an. I hated to finish this book because I loved it so muchIt is the story of a Hasidic boy who loves to draw and paint and has the ability to become a great artist but his father hates his obsession with art because he thinks it is from the Other Side and is evilI loved how this story drew me into the daily life of this young boy his family and his struggle to become who he was meant to be I too had a gift for drawing and know how devastating it is to be not only not encouraged but actively discouraged from doing the one thing you love to do mostI also realized how much I didn't know about the Judaism and Hasidism in particular I loved learning about the prayers customs history and vocabularyThis is a beautiful book There was a seuel written in 1990 that I will be reading too