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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Chaim Potok delivers

If the late Rabbi Chaim Potok had never taken up his pen to write, one wonders whether the world would know anything about this literary giant.

I just finished reading The Promise, the sequel to his better known The Chosen. Now, I'll have to go back and read the latter. I'm hooked!

Potok brings you inside the complex world of New York Judaism following World War II. His characters come to life as they struggle to balance the comforting but confining ways of Hasidism with new ways of interpeting the Torah that seem to better accomodate modern life in America. In those struggles shine both the desire for God and the desire to live as a child of the 20th century. Must one choose one or the other, or is there a "third way"? In each path lies pain. For Potok, there are no easy answers. But then again, whoever said life was simple?

If you don't mind jagged edges, give The Promise a try.


At 10:06 PM, Blogger David Schraub said...

But read The Chosen first. I'm glad that it is still good out of order, but I'd imagine it is much more understandable and compelling chronologically.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Double Birdie said...

Yup. My wife said as much. Right now, I'm reading an A.J. Cronin work, but I'll put something up later on The Chosen.


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