A major theme in My Name is Asher Lev is the development of self-realization. The process of finding one's identity and fulfilling one's potential is very important. Self-realization occurs to several characters in the book. Most importantly include Asher, Rivkeh, and Jacob Kahn.
Jacob Kahn comes to self-realizations through Asher. He felt as if he knew himself since he had explored so much of the world during his long life. However, Asher changed him. By becoming close friends with Asher, Jacob was able to stay young. He reached the age of 80 and would most likely reach 90. Upon first meeting Asher, Jacob had fairly much stopped painting for shows. He had a lot of work in his studio. However, when several years later Asher had a very successful show. Jacob became jealous of Asher's success because he felt that his student had surpassed the teacher. Jacob realized that there was still a lot he wanted to paint. Therefore, at this point he stopped working with Asher to concentrate on his own work. The two would be distant friends now.
Rivkeh comes upon her self-realization when her brother dies. She realizes what it is she must accomplish. In order to finish her brother's unfinished work, she attends college. Rivkeh had found her own identity. Before she went to school her life was just that of her family's. However, by going back to college she created a life of her own. She would create her identity by teaching Torah at universities.