The Rise Of David Levinsky Essay

The Rise Of David Levinsky Essay

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The Rise of David Levinsky is a type of fictional autobiography of an impoverished Jewish immigrant settling in America who persevered many religious, cultural, and language barriers to operate a suit and tailor business from the ground up earning him millions of dollars. Levinsky grew up in a shtetl around eastern Russia where he spent his early childhood as a traditional Jew who valued education and reading from the Torah. Once Levinsky came to New York in 1885 he began to adapt his religious and philosophical views around the local well established Dutch and reformed Jewish cultures. Levinsky negatively adapted to American customs as he shifted from his traditional orthodox Judaism beliefs to a more lenient reformed Judaism while altering his views on monetary values and relationships with females which ultimately redefines the meaning of religious sanctity and happiness for him.
Venturing down the sidewalks of East Side Levinsky began to notice how accustomed some of the previous immigrated Jews were compared to himself and the new arrivals. They were all relatively dressed better than anyone back in his shtetl and “many…paused to look at (him) with wistful smiles of curiosity. “There goes a green one!” some of them exclaimed” (93). Levinsky thought these were his people who could create some stability in his cultural shock to America and these reformed Jews began to mock him and repeatedly call him a greenhorn because of his tatterdemalion clothes and sidelocks. Levinskys finally finds one of the few synagogues in New York and meets Mr. Even who attempts to Americanize him by cutting off his sidelocks and providing him with knowledge that his old way of life must change in order to make it in this new country. This is where...

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...a as “a freer country…for the spirit...(with) more poetry, more music, (and) more feelings” exhanged between its peoples that created happiness from within. David Levinsky fell victim of adapting to America in the wrong sense that lead him to exploit others and demolish his faith in Jaudism. Year by year he seemed to have an endless appetite for acquiring money which he falsely believed was contributing to his life’s happiness. In the end Levinsky realizes he in a state of depression as true happiness was what he once had back at the shtetl with his praiseful spirit and his complete devotion to the Judaism faith. Levinsky achieved his original goal of becoming successful but while adopting Americas customs and reforming his own he fatefully realizes that lifes happiness cannot be acquired from materialistic objects but rather from within through religion and faith.

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