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My Name is Asher Lev

Chaim Potok

Chapters 3–4

Chapter 2

Chapters 3–4, page 2

page 1 of 3

Chapter 3

Aryeh Lev gets a call early in the week, telling him that Stalin is dying. The news becomes known officially a day later. By the end of the week, Stalin is dead. Asher's parents seem to think that this will bode well for Jews in Russia. Yudel Krinsky, however, tells Asher that Stalin's death will not quell Russian anti-semitism, which is spread far wider than just one man.

Asher's mother tells him that the Rebbe may ask the Lev family to move to Vienna in order for Aryeh to better perform his work. Asher falls ill for a few days and dreams of his Uncle Yitzchok, Krinsky, and his "mythic ancestor." When he finally gets better, he discusses the matter of the move with Yudel Krinsky, his father, and his Uncle Yitzchok, making clear that he does not want to go.

In the midst of a lesson one day, Asher begins to draw—disconnected dots, turning into lines. When the class is done, he gazes down at the page—he had drawn the deceased Stalin, lying in his coffin.

Chapter 4

Asher's father confronts him about his renewed interest in drawing. Asher's mother is more supportive, but explains to Asher that his father is worried about his performance in school.

Asher visits Krinsky and talks about his impending move and desire not to go. He then goes to his Uncle Yitzchok's store and asks if he can live with him, instead of going to Vienna with his parents.

Asher refuses to go with his parents to have passport photos taken. His parents become increasingly frustrated by his refusal to move. His art seems to be one of the main forces driving him to want to stay. His mother asks how he feels when he draws. His father tells Asher that he worries his artistic gift is from the other side.

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