Dealing With Anti-Semitism

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Dealing With Anti-Semitism

Dealing with Anti-Semitism
Mr. Potok has written scholarly and popular articles and reviews during his publishing career. Mr. Chaim Potok is a novelist, philosopher, historian, theologian, playwright, artist, and editor. All of Mr. Potok's novels explore the tensions between Judaism and the modern society (Kaupunginkirasto). Chaim Potok was born in the Bronx, New York, on 17 February 1929, to Polish Jewish immigrants, and was educated in Jewish parochial schools. Mr. Potok undertook a serious religious and secular education, first at the Orthodox Yeshiva University, New York, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English (summa cum laude) in 1950. Mr. Potok received his rabbinical ordination in 1954 at Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, and finally at the University of Pennsylvania, he obtained a Ph.D. in 1965(Buning).
Potok transforms Judaic scholarship to drama. Potok explores the tension inside the religious community. He fuses his interests in Jewish education and twentieth century history, a history that had violently touched his family. This novel serves as Potok's primary vehicle for the examination of the modern Jewish experience. The genesis and substance of every Potok novel is the Jewish religious, historic, and cultural experience in a non-Judaic world. The philosophic and ethical views are derived from the Judaic sources. Potok's affirmative vision, veneration of life, positive assessment of human nature, and pervasive striving for meaning in the midst of chaos, for good in the face of evil will be derived from Judaism (Walden 233). It is about growing up in an anti-Semitic environment.
David, a young Jewish boy, is growing up in the Bronx of New York City. David experiences the strains that modern, assimilationist America can put upon a deeply religious, orthodox, sensibility. David grew up on the streets of New York and encountered the anti-Semitism that prevailed there at a certain period of time.
David appears to be exploring the nature of evil in human affairs. David learns of scripture or history, what he hears about his parent's past, what he endures himself in the way of accident or cruelly all become aspects of a single experience-a Jewish experience.
In the fourth year of David Lurie's life, we enter his life and mind, to see how, through a crucible of childhood pain and love, a man's spirit was forged. How a gentle, frail little boy became a young man with the terrible courage to pursue his vision of the truth at the risk of all that was most dear to him: family love, friendship and his passionate identity with the centuries of Jewish tradition. David Lurie lives on sunlit apartments on the tree-lined boulevards of the Bronx. On the city sidewalks, Davey (David Lurie) is playing marbles in perfect communion with Tony Savanola until the six-year-old Eddie Kulanski, raised to hate Kikes, initiates Davey into the anguishing knowledge that to be a Jew is to be in peril.
David Lurie learns that all beginnings are hard. He must fight for his place against the bullies in his depression-shadowed Bronx neighborhood and his own frail health. As a young man, he must start anew and define his own path of personal belief that diverges sharply with his devout father and everything he has been taught (Amazon). In the Beginning as the title suggests is a recapitulation of the Book of Genesis from the Creation to the flood of Noah.
Many of the dramatic tensions in the novel develop through David's father Max. Max Lurie is active in leadership in a society to help other emigrants to America. The primary tensions in the novel develop from young David's situation in an environment that cherishes the old ways of life and Yeshiva study. David become more and more conscious of a need to move out that environment into the larger world of non-orthodox, even non-Jewish intellectual life move out of it, moreover, with out relinquishing it utterly (Halio 373).
In almost all of Potok's novels, father-son relationships are central to our understanding of the various conflicts that occur. It is the task of the fathers to pass on the Jewish heritage to their obedient sons. Critics have pointed out that the stress put on the authority of the father parallels a similar stress in traditional, patriarchal Judaism

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