Asher Lev

Point of View 

Asher Lev, in his mid-twenties, writes his recollections of his life and development up to that point. We see the world through Lev's eyes.


Since Asher is writing the book, he is very understanding to himself and sympathetic to the way he felt. Mostly, he is trying to explain how he has developed and give a voice to why he has acted as he did.



Settings (Time) 

1943–mid 1970s

Settings (Place) 

Brooklyn, Manhattan, Florence, Rome, Paris


Asher Lev

Major conflict 

Asher Lev has an intense desire to paint. This often comes into conflict with the Ladover Hasidic community in which he has been raised.

Rising action 

Asher studies art with the non-observant Jacob Kahn, Asher moves to Paris to study there, Asher paints a picture of his mother in a crucifixion scene.


Asher's parents see his crucifix paintings

Falling action 

Asher's parents distance themselves, Rebbe asks Asher to leave the community


On the plane to Paris, Asher alters the Pietà. This foreshadows his later artistic creation in which he further alters the form of the crucifixion, using it to depict his family.