Chaim Potok

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Chaim Potok was an author, most widely known for writing the classic novel The Chosen, a book about Jewish issues.

Life and works

Potok was born on February 17, 1929 in the Bronx, New York to a family of Polish immigrants.[1] As a teenager, he decided he wanted to write, reading the great works of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner, and attended Yeshiva University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he received several degrees including English Literature and Hebrew Literature and became an official Conservative rabbi.[2] After serving in the Korean War, he married, and later became a rabbi.[3] In 1967, he wrote his first and most famous novel, The Chosen, an allegory about the Hasidic community, and later its sequel, The Promise (1969).[4] In 2002, at the age of 73, Potok died of brain cancer.


After The Promise, he wrote many more novels and children's books, including:[5]

  • My Name is Asher Lev (1972)
  • In the Beginning (1975)
  • The Book of Lights (1981)
  • Davita's Harp (1985)
  • The Gift of Asher Lev (1990)
  • I Am the Clay (1992)
  • Old Men at Midnight (2001)
  • The Tree of Here (1993) (illustrated by Tony Auth)
  • The Sky of Now (1995) (illustrated by Tony Auth)
  • Zebra and Other Stories (1998)
  • Wanderings (1978)
  • Ethical Living for a Modern World: Jewish Insights
  • The Gates of November (1996)
  • My First Seventy-Nine Years: Memoirs of Isaac Stern (1999)

See also