IN THE BEGINNING by Chaim  Potok


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Chaim Potok continues his saga of the American sojourn of the Chosen People with this portrait of the education of David Lurie--namesake of his gentle and beautiful uncle dead in a Polish pogrom, son of a fiercely militant Zionist organizer--as he learns what his "job" in the service of the Jews will be. David's father works to secure the immigration of family and friends still in Europe but loses everything in the Depression; while sickly, bookish David begins by dodging the malevolent goyim in his Bronx neighborhood and demonstrates a precocious gift for Scripture. With the coming of wax, the boy's oedipal problems are compounded by his attraction to the secular branch of Bible study in which German scholars formed the vanguard. But he perseveres and ultimately his pilgrimage to Bergen Belsen reunites the grown man with "the dead of my family's beginnings" as well as the loving ghosts of both father and uncle, who are well pleased with him. Potok draws in all the little details of Jewish family life which will be as virtuously familiar and comforting to his readership as it was . . . in the beginning.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
ISBN: 044900113X
Page count: 552pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1975


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