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Chaim Potok

From Academic Kids

Rabbi Dr. Chaim Potok (February 17, 1929 - July 23, 2002) was an American author and rabbi.

Herman Harold Potok was born in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from Poland. Following tradition, his parents, Benjamin Max (d. 1958) and Mollie (Friedman) Potok (d.1985), gave him a Hebrew name, Chaim Tvzi; "Chaim" is the Hebrew word for "life"."Tvzi" means "Deer." His Orthodox education taught him Talmud as well as secular studies. He decided to become a writer as a teenager, after reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited.

In 1950, he obtained an B.A., summa cum laude, in English Literature from Yeshiva University. After receiving an M.A. in Hebrew literature, and his later rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Potok joined the U.S. Army as a chaplain, where he spent over a year (1955-1957) in the Korean War.

On June 8, 1958, he married Adena Sara Mosevitzsky, a psychiatric social worker, who he met in 1952 at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. They have three children: Rena, Naama, and Akiva.

From 1964-1975, Potok edited Conservative Judaism and also served as editor, from 1965-1974, of the Jewish Publication Society. In 1965, Potok was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Potok is most famous for his 1967 novel The Chosen, which was also made into a film released in 1981, which won top award at the World Film Festival, Montreal, and later became a musical on Broadway for a short time. It was a semi-autobiographical story about two boys. Reuven Malter, a Modern Orthodox Jew, becomes friends with Danny Saunders, an exceptionally brilliant young son of a Hasidic rabbi. The father, Reb Saunders, expects his son to succeed him as a rabbi, yet Danny wants to study psychology, a secular field of study.

He died of cancer in Merion, Pennsylvania, on July 23, 2002.

Bibliography

  • Jewish Ethics, 1964-69, 14 volumes
  • The Chosen, 1967
  • The Promise, 1969
  • My Name is Asher Lev, 1972
  • In the Beginning, 1975
  • The Jew Confronts Himself in American Literature, 1975
  • Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews, 1978
  • The Book of Lights, 1981
  • Davita's Harp, 1985
  • Theo Tobiasse, 1986
  • The Gift of Asher Lev, 1990
  • I Am the Clay, 1992
  • The Tree of Here, 1993
  • The Sky of Now, 1994
  • The Gates of November, 1996
  • Zebra and Other Stories, 1998
  • Old Men at Midnight, 2001

External links

it:Chaim Potok he:חיים פוטוק nl:Chaim Potok nn:Chaim Potok

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