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My Name is Asher Lev: Chapter 4 Journal Entry

In chapter 4, Asher's regains his gift and develops it. He goes back to drawing constantly. However, a cloud is hanging over his head as he fears moving to Vienna. He is determined to find a way to stay on his street. He feels that he will lose his gift if he moves away. "You shouldn't hurt your father this way," Rivkeh says to Asher. He responds, "I don't care... I don't want to lose it again, Mama. I don't care about anyone" (p 103). Asher's ability to draw is taking over all his thoughts. It is all he is worried about. When he says he does not care about anyone, the question arises to his parents about whether or not his gift is good or bad.

Asher's father talks to Asher about his gift. "Asher, you have a gift. I do not know if it is a gift from the Ribbono Shel Olom or from the Other Side" (p 106). Asher's father continues to talk in question of Asher's gift. My feelings on it are that it is a positive gift. I do not necessarily think that it is a gift from the Ribbono Shel Olom. However, I do believe that it is not from the Other Side. I feel that it is currently causing Asher to isolate himself from the world and act selfishly. Once Asher develops his artistic capabilities more, though, I am confident that he will use his work in a very good way. I think it will always be the focus in his life and this will bring him success. I can understand that his parents feel that Asher is not acting as he should. However, I feel they should allow him to continue drawing because it is his gift and it brings him happiness.

As Asher's father continued to speak to him, he said, "Nothing is more important in the eyes of the Master of the Universe than a Jewish life" (p 108). He was using this in order for Asher to understand why they must move to Vienna to help the Jews in trouble. However, I feel that it is also negative propaganda. If a Jewish life is so important, than shouldn't Asher get to live his to the fullest? Asher looks at it this way also. He tells his mother, but she does not agree with him. She just wants him to be obedient. She later asks Asher, "Do you understand what it means to have a great work incomplete?" (p 114). Asher tells her that he thinks so. Rivkeh was trying to explain to Asher the importance of her continuing her brother's work and why his father had to go to Vienna for his work. However, I think a young boy like Asher might apprehend that in a different manner. He might believe that it means that he has to finish his work. For Asher, finishing his work as an artist means staying on his street in Vienna.

One night when Asher awoke from a dream, he questioned his gift. He wondered if his gift is in fact, from the Other Side, and if so, why was it given to him? He falls back to sleep after awhile. The next day he went with his parents to get his passport. I think the fact that Asher obeyed his parents and went to get his passport shows a maturity. He seems to have subconsciously decided that his gift could be bad and therefore he must not focus on it as much. He will not give up his gift, but for the moment he will stop thinking about just his problems.

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