Are Asher Lev's Paintings Disrespectful to His Parents?

1598 Words Sep 23rd, 1999 7 Pages
<center><b>Are Asher 's paintings of the Cruxifixion an ultimate act of disrespect towards his parents?</b></center>
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<br>Asher Lev paints against the values of his family and community. He disregards Jewish traditions and observance by pursuing his passion for art. His individuality has him disobeying the Rebbe, the mashphia, his mythic ancestor as well as his parents. Asher does not intend for his artwork to be harmful, but that they convey truths and feelings. Yet, the Brooklyn Crucifixions cause shame for his observant Jewish parents. In that way, he disrespects their teachings and wishes. He challenges the Jewish belief on modesty in creating nude works and disturbs the Hasidic community in his Christian imagery. Worst of all is
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The community of Jews, as well as goyims, is acknowledging Asher 's rebellion and individuality. Those who mostly dislike or find the paintings atrocious would be the orthodox Jews, such as Asher 's parents. Hushed whispers is converted into silences when Asher ' parents are noticed looking at the paintings. It is obvious that Asher has violated the standard of Jewish religion by depicting his parents in a Christian-based painting. The community is shocked by this and can see the Jewish shame. Readers note the feeling of eyes, stares and silences repeating motifs. The public stares and points out that," That 's them." In the elevator, a man also stares at Asher and his parents. Eyes often tell a story; it is able to reveal happiness, sadness, excitement or boredom. In the museum, the eyes and stares reflect Asher 's shame upon his parents.
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<br>Several patriarchal figures in Asher 's early childhood give him advice about painting against Jewish tradition. Because Asher does not follow their teachings, it leads him to compose the Cruxifixion paintings and hence disrespect for Jewish concepts. It is not Asher 's purpose in his are to rebel and defy his religion, but to express his feelings. Yet Yudel Krisky calls him a scandal for turning away from studying the Torah and his father repeatedly implies that it is foolish for Asher to draw. Still, it does not stop Asher from becoming an artist. In chapter 5, Asher
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