Different Views of Christians and Jews in Different Times - From the novel: My Name is Asher Lev

Essay by candiecane690High School, 10th gradeA+, October 2004

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When I read My Name is Asher Lev, I became very offended because I am a Christian. Asher, his family, and others throughout the book make references to how "goyim" are not good, and how wrongful acts are acts of the goyim. Asher felt guilty when he read our Bible because of the way he was raised. His mother was upset because Asher's painting had brought her to a discussion of Jesus, and Asher's father was very angry that Asher made a drawing of Jesus. I personally do not have anything against people with different religions, and I welcome learning about them; so when this family expressed such hatred toward my personal religion, it angered me.

What I did not realize at first was that this novel took place right after World War II, and the Jews were hated and persecuted by Christians then. The way I feel about them being prejudiced is the way they must have felt about Christians.

Many Jews were killed in the Crusades. Hitler slaughtered 6 million Jews. Jews were persecuted because people believed Jews, instead of the Romans, killed Jesus. Also, this particular family had an ancestor who was killed by a man celebrating a Christian holiday. Many things had happened to Asher's family and to their whole religious group to make them feel this way about Christianity.

I began to put myself in Asher's family's shoes, and I realized that they did have a reason to hate the Christian ways. In my time, if people from another religion persecuted Christians, I would hate them too. Now times are different from back then after World War II. There still is prejudice and hatred, but much of it has been eliminated, and we all try to live and work together. If a...