The Hasidic Community In Asher Lev's Struggle

analytical Essay
911 words
911 words

Asher Lev, a young adolescent, grows up in a traditional Ladover Hasidic Jewish community in post-war Brooklyn. The Rebbe, a holy Jewish leader, keeps everyone aligned when it comes to faith and morals within the Hasidic community. Asher Lev’s father works as a missionary for the Rebbe. He travels to different countries converting people to the faith. Hasidic Judaism differs from other religions. They are dogmatic in their beliefs, and many strict rules exist among this branch of Judaism. Asher is introduced as an outlier in the Jewish faith. He brings shame to his family, and many in the Jewish community speak of the wrongs he has done while growing up. Yet, for the reader, relating to the book becomes difficult, because many people no longer …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how chaim potok makes it easier for the reader to relate to asher's story by using the reoccurring theme of fear throughout his life.
  • Explains that asher is against the idea of moving to vienna because he possesses a special talent to create artwork.
  • Opines that they would not go to vienna because they were terrified of traveling. the name vienna conjured up distorted horrors.
  • Analyzes how readers relate to asher's fear of travelling, especially if they are young. moving to a new city creates anxiety because of the unknown.
  • Analyzes how asher's mother suffered from a mental illness that resulted from the death of her brother.
  • Explains that sickness and death are common occurrences in life, and the existence of fear in the book helps the reader relate to asher's situation because it is something we have all experienced.
  • Analyzes how asher struggles his whole life between creating artwork and his religion. he struggles with the disappointment of the rebbe, his parents, and the jewish community as a whole.
  • Analyzes how human beings struggle spiritually between morals and their own worldly desires. they relate to asher with the fear of messing up and being a disappointment to the surrounding community.
  • Analyzes how chaim potok uses fear to relate the reader to asher's life, and this strategy is extremely successful.

His father returns home one day and breaks the news to Asher that the Rabbi has requested their family to move to Vienna. Asher is against this idea, because he possesses a special talent to create artwork. He finds satisfaction in drawing his city and streets of Brooklyn. If he moves, everything will be unknown and foreign.
And I was frightened of traveling...I was terrified of taking an airplane, terrified. Vienna. The name conjured up distorted horrors: dark foreign streets, evil shadows, incomprehensible words, menacing laughter at my sidecurls and skullcap. I would not go to Vienna(93). Asher also is afraid of the extreme persecution Jews are going through in Vienna. He is in a constant state of fear to protect his life and passion; …show more content…

He remembers a specific moment that brings back fear. Asher had just turned six, and still possessed an innocent conscience. Suddenly, his mother’s piercing screams reach his ears. Fear spreads rampant through his nerves. Relatives and friends quickly flood the apartment, and the crowd begins to sob. The circumstances became so horrible that the Rebbe comes. Asher experiences fear still unknown to him. “I was certain my mother was dead. I lay down on the floor in my room, and wept” (14). Asher’s mother had reached the peak of her mental illness. He had a special relationship with his mother, and fear struck deeply inside Asher at the thought of that relationship being annihilated by death or

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