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My Name is Asher Lev Journal Entry 7

Asher has received a wonderful invitation, one that holds much honor and importance. Asher has been invited to speak with the Rebbe. He is about to reach Bar Mitzvah, and to speak with such an important person at this time is truly a great honor. When Asher speaks with the Rebbe, he discovers some startling news. The Rebbe informs Asher that what he thinks would be best for him, would be to persue his artistic talents. This enrages his parents, they ask themselves how such a thing could have happened, but they must learn to accept it, since it is a direct order of the Rebbe. Through all this, Asher meets Jacob Kahn, an artist that will serve as his teacher for the next 5 years, showing him everything he knows about art, and helping Asher’s personal talents grow. How do Asher’s parents deal with this? They have a very hard time. They can’t make such a big change so quickly very easily, and it has it’s effects on the family.

Jacob Kahn talks almost as if by doing this he will take Asher out of Judaism completely, and start him on a road to Christianity. I’m sure that this intimidates Asher very much, knowing that his parents value their entire lives on their Jewish faith. His father has the most trouble accepting this new order by the Rebbe. He says that Asher is his son, and he should be able to raise him the way he sees fit. He has worked for the Rebbe all these years, doing whatever has been asked of him, and now he does this in return. It does seem unfair from his point of view, but Asher should be able to do what he wants. If he has a talent, ha should be able to express it, and be able to expand upon what he finds enjoyable.

Such an outrageous order from a faith that is so conservative is shocking. Since it is a direct command from the highest “seat” in their faith, however, Asher’s family is forced to accept this, no matter what their own opinions are. It will be a struggle, but to be able to keep family relations virtually the same, this will need to be overlooked by everyone, including Asher’s father.