Chaim Potok: Rabbi, American Author, Mensch

Photo Deborah Thomas on Wikimedia Commons

Ritta used the word mensch, a particularly good person, to describe author Chaim Potok. Ritta discovered his novels through her curiosity about religions.

Chaim Potok was raised in the Bronx in a conservative Jewish family, received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, then became a rabbi. It was his three years as a chaplain in Japan and Korea after the Korean war that transformed his beliefs. He obtained a master’s and doctorate degree, led an active life as a Jewish academic and teacher, as a magazine editor and writer, in addition to being a novelist.

Not unlike Potok himself, his characters struggle to manage the tensions inherent in wanting to live for themselves against the backdrop of their families’ expectations and their traditional religious beliefs.

My name is Asher Lev, is Ritta’s favourite.

For much more, READ RITTA’S SUMMARY BY CLICKING HERE

Janet H & Helen