Rivkeh Lev is a character dealing with her own torments. Her brother's early and tragic death has imbued her with a sense of urgency. She must complete his work and as quickly as possible. She is also a unique woman in the Ladover community, since she is one of the few permitted to attend college. Placed in a subservient role in society because of her sex, she has much to overcome to succeed. She is able to relate well to her son. She understands what it is like to have a strong desire burning inside and for that desire to conflict with the standards of the community. After all, her desire to complete her brother's work can never be fully realized. She will never be given the responsibilities in the Ladover community that he had, because she is a woman.
Rivkeh is also caught in the middle of the two men in her life. She understands, relates to, and loves them both, but they can hardly speak to each other. Balancing her commitments to the two of them is incredibly difficult and drives her to tears on many occasions. Ultimately, she is more committed to her community and to her husband, driving her to move to Europe to work with him. There is a limit to how much deviation she can accept and will understand. This leads her to side against Asher after his display of the crucifixion pictures.