In the beginning

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1975 - Fiction - 454 pages
18 Reviews
The novel, set in the Bronx, New York, concerns a gifted Jewish boy who becomes a Biblical scholar. From shortly after birth, in the 1920's, David Lurie is plagued by illnesses that prove to be emblematic of his growing up. He is bullied by bigger boys, haunted by the "accidents" that he brings upon others, safe only within his pious home. David's inner life, tortured with fears and bad dreams is followed through the Depression, which nearly ruins his family; through the late thirties and forties, as the news from Europe grows more and more dreadful; and into his budding years as a scholar.

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I love Potok's writing. - Goodreads
I felt as though it did nothing to move the plot along. - Goodreads
That said, some of the writing itself is beautiful. - Goodreads

Review: In the Beginning

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

In the Beginning follows the life of David Lurie, named for his dead uncle and raised in a home with a strong tie to the Torah. We meet Davey as a young boy, often sick due to an injury suffered as a ... Read full review

Review: In the Beginning

User Review  - Abby T. Jordan Cember - Goodreads

I don't know how I could be Jewish without Chaim Potok--how I could understand what that means, why I care, from whence we came, literally and metaphorically. As usual, I was completely wrapped up in ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
99
Section 3
114
Copyright

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About the author (1975)

Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Yeshiva University in 1950, and received an advanced degree from Jewish Theological Seminary in 1954, when he also became an ordained Conservative rabbi. After two years of military service as a chaplain in Korea, Potok married Adena Sarah Mosevitsky in 1958. The couple had three children. Eventually Potok returned to school and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. Potok has held a variety of positions within the Jewish community, including directing a camp in Los Angeles, teaching at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles at a Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and working as an editor on various religious publications, Potok's first novel, The Chosen, was published in 1967, and he quickly won acclaim for this best-selling book about tensions within the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities. This and later books have been both critically and popularly successful. Many of them explore the meaning of Judaism in the modern era, focusing on the conflict between traditional teachings and the pressures of modern life. The Chosen was nominated for a National Book Award in 1967 and made into a successful film in 1982. Its sequel, The Promise (1969) was the winner of an Athenaeum Award. Potok is also the author of a nonfiction volume, Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews (1978), as well as several short stories and articles that have been published in both religious and secular magazines.

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